Do you find yourself often thinking and talking about “the good ol’ days?” It can be a source of great pleasure to reminisce about a time when you were younger, especially remembering a special event or activity. When looking back this way, we tend to look at our past experiences through a filter that magnifies […]
Do you find yourself often thinking and talking about “the good ol’ days?” It can be a source of great pleasure to reminisce about a time when you were younger, especially remembering a special event or activity. When looking back this way, we tend to look at our past experiences through a filter that magnifies the positive while diminishing the negative. When comparing to the present, we may see the present in the opposite way, which makes the past appear even better. While there’s no harm in basking in a memory, it can be harmful if you spend so much time looking at your past, that you neglect and devalue your present and future.
If you’re someone who spends too much time thinking about the “glory days,” you may benefit from assessing your present. Do you look back because your life has become dull and monotonous? Is there something in your present causing you anxiety and you are hiding from in thoughts of the past?
If you take a closer look and examine your life, you may be surprised to notice that you look back not because your past was so great, but rather because your present is not. Unfortunately, the more time you spend reminiscing, the worse your current life becomes. By hiding out in daydreaming of the past, you miss out on making positive changes to make the most of the present and build the future that you want.
Get Rid of Unneeded Memorabilia
Sometimes a memento represents a memory of a special time, and sometimes it’s just an object that’s imprisoning you in your past. Look around and decide which items are special remembrances that are relevant to your life now and which are trying to keep the past an active part of your present.
Volume matters here. One item is special, a whole mantle full of old trophies is a sign of being stuck. Get rid of or pack away excess items associated with the past. This will help you stop living in days gone by and free you up to make the most out of the present.
Fully Appreciate Each Day
As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” One way to stop living in the past is to enjoy and appreciate each day. Practicing mindfulness and gratitude are great ways to do this. Tune in to you current sensory experience several times a day to come fully in to the present moment. Start keeping a journal and jot down three things you’re grateful for each day. Adding three things that you are proud of yourself for will take this to an even more personal place, allowing you to appreciate your life and yourself!
Make Future Plans
Nothing can keep you from looking to the past quite like looking to the future. Plan a vacation or create goals. It might help to break down goals into parts to achieve over time and give yourself credit for each step you make towards achieving your final goal. Maybe you want to learn a new language, start playing the piano, or read all the classic novels. There’s a lot of life waiting to be lived, so make the most of it.
While there’s certainly nothing wrong with a moment of nostalgia, it’s important to live in the present. To learn to spend your time enjoying your life as you live it. You’ll not only bring yourself great happiness and satisfaction by focusing on living life today, but you’ll also create many more memories to relish in the days to come.
If you’re struggling and looking for support and guidance to create a better, more satisfying life, a licensed professional can help. Call me today to schedule a free consultation.