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7 Ways To Let Go Of The Past And Live A Happy Life

7 Ways To Let Go Of The Past And Live A Happy Life

How can you live a happy life when you cannot let go of the past? Instead of focusing on the present, you’re caught in a web of lies and only your past mistakes seem to matter. Yet there are many out there who live each day with a happy and positive view on life. Why? Because they are not focusing on the past. Read this guide to learn how you can let go of your past and live a happy life.

Let the emotions flow

“Cry. Forgive. Learn. Move on. Let your tears water the seeds of your future happiness.” Steve Maraboli

One mistake many people make is they try to ignore their emotions altogether, which is the worst thing to do. To move forward feel emotions and understand why you are upset in the first place. Let the tears come until you can cry no more, or scream into a pillow until the frustration ebbs away. Let it all out in order to let go of the past and live a happy life.

Read these tips on why it’s ok to cry.

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Don’t let negative thoughts cloud your mind

Allow yourself to express your emotions, but don’t dwell on them. Negative thinking is unproductive as it distracts you from the positives in life and makes it harder to let go of the past. Negative thoughts plague your mind with self-sabotaging thoughts, denying you your right to live a happy life.

When a negative thought crosses your mind, steer your mind away from it. Instead, look at the positives you have gained from an experience. Willie Nelson mentions the power of positive thinking perfectly:

“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.”

Learn from your experience

Take away the positives from past experiences. By learning from an experience, you learn more about yourself and what makes you happy. Perhaps you discovered you don’t like certain activities anymore, or you learned who your true friends were. Now you know not to participate in that activity, or to spend time with your true friends, leaving your toxic friends behind. Use these experiences to your advantage so you can learn more about what makes you happy in life.

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Stop being the victim

When you get into the mind-set of the victim, you often find that all your thoughts lead back to past traumas. Your mind becomes plagued by these thoughts and you find yourself thinking that everything always goes wrong for you.

Of course this is not the case at all, because you are in control of your fate. You shouldn’t think because you have failed before, you will fail now. Instead, remember that you have control over your life and you don’t have to be the victim.

Don’t wait for an apology

“True forgiveness is when you can say, ‘Thank you for the experience.'” Oprah Winfrey

The best lesson you can learn in life is to forgive and forget. Maybe that other person was in the wrong, that he or she should apologize, but waiting for that apology isn’t going to help you. In the end the only one you will hurt is yourself because you aren’t letting go of the past.

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Focus on moving forward, because what has happened is in the past . You could be waiting an eternity for that apology and wasting your time hung up. Don’t let someone else’s mistakes stop you from living a happy life.

Expand your view of yourself

You’ve confronted your past and moved on, so now is the time to avert attention to yourself. This is the time to get to know yourself better, to learn what makes you happy. Go out and take part in new activities, don’t be afraid to take risks and learn what experiences you are passionate about. Understanding who you are and what you want out of life will make you happier in the long run.

Forget the past and live in the moment

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” Buddha

One of my all-time favorite sayings is “Live in the moment.” It follows the concept that you should live in the present, not in the past. You won’t gain anything from looking back at the past, because what has happened cannot be changed. So don’t look back at the past, look to the present, the moment you are in now. You won’t live this minute again, which is why you should make the most of it. Be present in this very moment by looking around you. Take in what people are saying as well as focusing on yourself and what you are doing.

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Finally, leave the past behind you, that has happened and you can’t change it. Focus now on the present moment and your own happiness. Choosing to be positive will open you up to a life of happiness.

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Featured photo credit: imcookiemonster via flickr.com

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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