how to let go of the past and be happy

In The Moment: How To Let Go Of The Past And Be Happy

Have you thought about how to let go of the past and be happy?


Letting go of the past can be difficult, especially if it’s caused you emotional pain. Your past trauma can affect your everyday life, from relationships to your perception of failures and successes.


It’s important to know that you aren’t the only one experiencing this. There are many people who struggle to be happy, or who have depression.


In this article, we’ll cover the top tips on how to let go of the past and be happy. We want you to start living in the present and embracing personal growth too!


How Can Living In The Past Make You Unhappy?


Thinking about past hurts can lead to negative thoughts.


Luckily, there are ways to help yourself overcome the past. These include being with someone who makes you happy or finding ways to be kind to yourself.


Everyone handles past events and trauma in their own way.


It may take some trial and error to see what works for you. Some may find it easy to move on, while others won’t.


It depends on the experience itself and the person. Ultimately, the past can take a toll on your mental health if you don’t deal with it.


Living in the past can make you unhappy.


So, ask yourself why you’re thinking about or reliving the past. Is it rumination or introspection?


Introspection refers to exploring, gaining insight, and gaining a new perspective on a past event. This is a good thing.


how to let go of the past and be happy


In contrast, rumination makes you dig yourself into a deeper hole of despair. Let’s look at rumination’s effect on your life in more detail.


Recognize Rumination


Some people may experience rumination, which means they tend to think about the past because of the regrets they have. Instead of accepting the past, they think about what they could’ve done differently.


However, we don’t give ourselves any pleasure or insight when doing this. We are constantly drowning our present in our past experiences.


Rumination can leave one in a vicious cycle of never-ending worry and negative emotions.


Rumination is often associated with anxiety and depression. We tend to replay our failures, thinking that it might solve a problem, but it doesn’t.


We can feel we’re solving a problem because we’re thinking about the past and our actions. However, the truth is that we’re just continuing to hurt ourselves.


Signs You Are Living In The Past


If you show some of these signs, we suggest you view our tips on letting go of the past to improve your mental health.


If you’re living in the past, you tend to:


  • Have conversations that involve past mistakes or people.
  • Compare your current experiences with previous ones.
  • Replay traumatic events in your mind.
  • Be easily frustrated.
  • Avoid new relationships and experiences.
  • Expect bad things to happen.
  • Feel anxious.
  • Be afraid to be alone with your thoughts.


Recognizing the signs that you’re living in the past is the first step to a brighter future. When you leave your past behind, you’ll be able to live in the moment and enjoy life for what it is.


Hand stretching out


Is It Hard To Live In The Moment?


We may find it challenging to live in the moment, especially when we have so many worries about the future and past events holding us back.


We are here to let you know that living in the moment isn’t impossible!


If you don’t know how to let go of the past and be happy, follow our guide.


How To Let Go Of The Past And Be Happy: 8 Steps To Happiness


Here are some excellent steps to show you how to let go of the past and be happy. Finding what works for you is key to living a happier life.


1. Forgive Yourself


We can be incredibly hard on ourselves when we make mistakes. This is especially true if you are a perfectionist. You might struggle to accept that you can make mistakes.


There are many reasons you might fear making mistakes, whether it’s embarrassment or feeling imposter syndrome in a new workplace. When you’re hard on yourself, your self-esteem takes a big hit.


Just like you’re supposed to learn from your mistakes, you must learn to forgive yourself. You need to practice self-compassion.


Being too hard on yourself is a mistake you must learn from.


We are all human. We’re all prone to making mistakes!


Learn to forgive yourself and take each lesson with you to build a happier future.


2. Experience Your Emotions


Woman on laptop


Many people tend to avoid pain. It’s not good to do this as it can build up inside you.


There’s a risk that those old emotions and wounds will show up again, possibly stronger than before.


We suggest that you let yourself feel your emotions to help you move forward. It’s okay to experience them. Remember they don’t define who you are.


Allow yourself to feel pain. Find an outlet. Try confiding in someone you trust, whether a friend, family member or even a therapist.


You can try writing your emotions and thoughts down in a journal. It’ll help you make sense of the situation and your feelings.


Having an outlet will help you to release the things that are weighing you down.


Try not to get lost in your emotions, or they will consume your everyday life.


3. Take Responsibility


Taking ownership of your role in past events means you’re one step closer to letting go of it – even if it was a painful event.


It’s so easy to blame others for the outcome of our actions. Taking that approach won’t release us from our conflict with ourselves.


It doesn’t mean that you need to blame yourself. Simply acknowledge it.


Taking responsibility helps you to move on and approach your present and future with a brighter outlook and attitude.


4. Learn To Accept


Acknowledging the past gives us a chance to grieve and let go of our negative emotions.


Sometimes we find it difficult to accept past traumas. The past can’t be changed.


You must come to terms with each negative event that you feel is weighing you down.


Remember that it’s okay if you need a little extra time to accept past events. Don’t keep dwelling on them though. You’ll just be hurting yourself. Be honest with yourself throughout the grieving process.


5. Practice Mindfulness


There’s no time like the present. Practicing mindfulness lets you focus on what you’re feeling and sensing in the present moment.


Man meditating


Mindfulness will help you reduce stress and anxiety. This practice will help your mind and body refocus on the present, where it can experience every emotion and sense.


Here are some ways to practice mindfulness:


Notice The Small Things


Bring your attention back to the present by taking note of your surroundings. Feel the warmth of the sun on your skin. Hear the birds chirping on that nearby tree.


Just Breathe


Practice inhaling and exhaling. You can close your eyes or sit in silence. It’s entirely up to you. If past thoughts appear, let them stay for a short while before chasing them away.


Learn A Creative Hobby


Keep your mind in the present by learning something new. There’s no better time to start than the present. Having a creative outlet and watching how you progress will build your self-esteem for the future.


Accept Yourself


Be kind to yourself like you would to a good friend. No one knows you better than you.


Everyone is different, so it’s essential to try different mindfulness techniques. Some may work better for you than others. Look for things you’re grateful for in your life. Don’t give up. You’ll find what is right for you.


6. Surround Yourself With The Right People


Distance yourself from the people or situations causing you pain. There’s nothing wrong with letting go of those that only create a negative space in your life.


Whether it’s an emotional or physical distance, creating that space can help you to move on from the past.


It may be time to cut ties if you feel you’re constantly experiencing negative emotions around the person or situation. If you have to interact with negative people, try limiting your interactions with them.


We recommend surrounding yourself with positive and inspiring people.


Highfiving people


Create new memories with them and let your positive feelings grow. You’ll soon see that you focus less on the negative events in your life and focus more on the positive ones.


7. Focus On Self-Care


Finding a balance is essential when you’re working on yourself.


If we can show love to ourselves, it will be easier to move on. It is a great way to feel empowered and in charge of our happiness again. Self-compassion is a great start.


If you need to take some time away to heal, then do it.


Sometimes when we’re alone, we get to know ourselves much better. Giving yourself some much-needed attention is okay, especially after a traumatic event.


If your environment keeps reminding you of that event, try changing it. Throw away objects that constantly bring up those bad memories and negative thinking.


Woman with facemask


Your new and empowering space will make your emotions less likely to consume you and help you with moving forward.


8. Seek Professional Help


If you have difficulty letting go of the past, consider seeing a licensed therapist.


The past can bring up many negative thoughts that you may struggle to cope with. Letting a therapist help you work through your emotions will give you a better understanding of them. It will also give you a safe space!


Some people may have an issue with seeking professional help, but we all need a little help from time to time. Getting help from others can give you a different perspective on your situation.


Final Thoughts


If you’re trying to learn how to let go of the past and be happy, we hope you feel enlightened!


Different ideas work for different people. Finding your way in life is a process of showing yourself the self-love you deserve. You deserve to be happy!


Unresolved emotions will prevent you from letting go and living a happy life. Dealing with your feelings is crucial to moving on and accepting that you can’t change the past.


If you need help, consider the Do Happy App to promote happiness, kindness, and mindfulness in your life.


If you need some extra help, consider seeking out a licensed therapist.


The most important thing is that you never give up on yourself. Surround yourself with positive people, be honest with your emotions, and focus on


taking care of yourself.


You got this!