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How to Let Go of the Past

Stop spinning your wheels and start moving forward by following these tips to let go of the past.


  • Step 1: Actively participate in your life, focusing on today. Find things that bring you joy and don't concern yourself with things you can't change. Don't let a fear of the future deter you from enjoying your life today.
  • Step 2: Practice meditation or yoga techniques to reduce stress and center yourself. Visualize painful memories leaving you with every breath, inhaling inner peace as you move forward.
  • Step 3: Forgive whoever wronged you and, in that forgiveness, allow yourself to be rid of the past. Love yourself and allow yourself to be loved, let go of the past, and live in the present.
  • FACT: Studies have indicated that the body's level of melatonin, an antioxidant, may increase during meditation.
  • TIP: Don't assume another person's responsibility, but don't get sucked into playing the victim.
  • Step 4: Accept your role in what went wrong. Coming to terms with your part and owning some of your pain will go a long way toward letting go.
  • Step 5: Think about all of the reasons you need to move on. Lost love, hurt feelings, and emotional pain are relived when you don't move forward.
  • TIP: Consider how liberated you'll feel once you free yourself from stagnation.
  • Step 6: Realize that you have a choice. You can continue to wallow in the hurt and pain of past events, or you can learn from mistakes, misplaced trust, and failed relationships. Exercise your power to move on.
  • Step 7: Empathize with the person who caused you pain. Start with the assumption that they're basically a good person who made a mistake. If you can put yourself in their shoes -- realizing that you sometimes make mistakes, too, it will be easier to forgive them and get on with your life.
  • Step 8: Realize that you can't change the past and make a commitment to let it go. You can't unring a bell. Only by accepting this can you move on toward the future.

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