Living in the past can put a wall between what is truly meant for us. Mindful approaches continue to spread in western culture often providing a safe-haven from a buzzing technological world. The present moment breaks the walls down shattering any worry of what happened yesterday or what might happen tomorrow. It requires practice but is well worth the journey.
Push Yourself to Experience New Things
A mindful approach toward a new experience can help rewire the brain. It’s the act of forming a habit or learning a new skill that can open doors to a present lifestyle. This is where it gets fun. Dabbling in something new also lets us learn more about ourselves. Perhaps you’ll uncover a new passion for performing music or playing a sport. These moments create new memories and pathways for our brain to process reality. It brings you from stagnantly sitting in the past to actively living in the now.
Clean and Declutter
Cleaning for an open mind doesn’t mean you have to go full-on minimalist. In fact, there is something very charming about texturized living spaces. However, it may be beneficial to do a run-through of your personal inventory. There is always room to let go. Clean and declutter your space from old receipts, messy laundry, old clothing, and unused gifts. Freeing yourself from pointless objects or sentimental items is a big step toward breaking away from living in the past. It assists in cutting chords to relationships and memories that no longer serve us.
Get into the now by getting into your body. Break the negative thought patterns by going for a run or hitting the gym. With an increase in blood flow and oxygen to the brain, the mind can function from a clear space. Exercise is proven to stimulate chemical changes in the brain promoting a better mood and overall well-being. Making this a regular practice pushes the body to live in a stress-free space while encouraging new ideas.
Holding onto grudges and resentment can often keep the mind in the past. Experiencing pain or betrayal is something we all go through. However, it is something we can use as fuel to grow from. Forgiveness doesn’t require an apology from the other party either. Forgiveness requires a look within. When we forgive we let go of a heavyweight on the chest. This newfound freedom makes it easier to open up to others and new experiences. By letting go of these pains that live in the past we present ourselves to the pleasures of today.
Don’t deny yourself what you want by staying in yesterday’s turmoil. If you also find yourself rejoicing over previous accomplishments, this may also be a sign to dream up something new. Dreams give us something to look forward to while also applying ourselves in the present moment. The more you dream and create, the more you embrace the now by bringing it to life.
It’s easier said than done. It’s also easy to do this for one day and then fall back into negative thought patterns. However, this is what makes it a practice. Be gentle and try again when you find yourself in a loop. Applying these habits consistently builds your new point of view over time. The heaviness from living in the past will dissipate day by day.