How To Let Go Of Past (Putting Regrets Aside)


One of the hardest things to do is to let go of the past. If you’re here trying to find answers on how you can let go without regrets, you’ve come to the right place. Stick with me as I lay down some tips on how you can move on.

You can start letting go by having a proper mindset first. Then after that, you need to turn your focus into something meaningful, aim for personal growth, surround yourself with optimistic people, practice mindfulness, and give yourself compassion and care. All these are important in the process of moving on and must be partnered with commitment.

When such situations happen, and we have to move on from them, it can be tough to get over the pain associated with them and move forward with our lives. 

But if we don’t learn to let go of the past and accept what has happened, we’ll always be stuck in time. We’ll never be able to move forward toward our goals or even just enjoy today as much as we could be if we stopped dwelling on what has happened in our past!

But before I lay down the tips on how you can let go of your past, let’s get to know why it’s hard to let go in the first place.

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Why it’s hard to let go of the past?

We all want to move on from the past. But sometimes, that’s just not possible.

Here are some of the most common reasons why it’s so hard to let go of your past.

  • You’re scared. You’re afraid that if you let go, then the pain will come back and overwhelm you again.
  • You still feel connected to what happened in the past.
  • You don’t want to forget all the good times you’ve shared with people who are now gone from your life.
  • Our brains are programmed to remember things through emotion and not logic. So even if we try to reason with ourselves, our emotions can still get in the way.
  • Attachment to that person

Now, you can ask yourself.

“Why can’t I let go?”

Maybe the answers are mentioned above, and once you know why that’s the perfect time to act.

Ways on how you can let go of your past with no regrets

These are the things that can help you move on without regrets.

Have a proper mindset

To let go of the past, the first thing you need to do is to recognize and acknowledge it.

This is not always easy. We tend to feel pressured to move on from our pasts, and we’re told that if we don’t, we’ll never be able to live in the present. But the truth is that your mind is powerful, and if you don’t redirect your thinking, it will just confuse you all the time.

So, how do you control your mind? You can set your mindset by doing these.

  • Remind yourself that there’s no point in looking back at something that happened in the past. It won’t change anything.
  • Focus on what’s happening today instead of yesterday.
  • Imagine what your whole life would be like if you stopped obsessing about the past and started focusing on the present moment instead.
  • Ask yourself, “Am I really going to waste my time here?” or “Is this where I want myself to be?”
  • Be reminded of the goals you have and why you should keep going.

Control your thinking, and you’ll soon realize that keeping yourself in the past makes no sense. That will lead to motivation to let go.

Turn your focus into something important.

When you’re looking for a way to let go of the past, one of the best things you can do is focus on what’s essential in your life. 

Focusing on where you are and where you’re going, it’s much easier to forget what happened in the past.

You can do this by:

Focusing on something you love. Think about something that brings you joy, like spending time with your family or listening to music.

Focusing on the present. Don’t get caught up thinking about how things have been or how they might be in the future. Focus on what’s going on right now!

Focusing on doing something positive. Even if it seems small, there are plenty of ways that we can make our lives better every day, so take a moment and think about something positive that you can do today!

Aim for personal growth

When you concentrate on bettering yourself as a person, whether through learning new things or improving your relationships, you start seeing things differently, including your experiences with other people.

Therefore, when you start looking at situations differently and making them work for you instead of against you, those feelings of frustration and disappointment just don’t seem worth holding onto anymore.

To give you an idea, here are just some of the personal growth goals you can set.

  • Learning a new language
  • Taking up a new hobby or sport
  • Reading a book every month for a year
  • Visiting a foreign country
  • Get better at managing my time
  • Cook a new meal recipe every week
  • Learn how to code
  • Be patient with my family
  • Be better at handling stress

Personal growth goals are the best way to ensure you’re constantly improving. They can help you:

  • Stay motivated and focused
  • Identify your weaknesses and strengths
  • Connect with what matters most to you
  • Get distracted positively.
  • Be a more efficient individual.

Be with positive people.

When you’re trying to let go of the past, you must surround yourself with positive people going somewhere in life. 

These people will help lift you up and keep your spirits strong during this time. They will not drag you down further by holding on to negative thoughts or letting them spill into your personal space.

Here are some tips if you do not know how to find these people.

  • Go to church or another religious institution.

Not only will you be encircled by those who believe in positivity, but the services themselves can be an uplifting experience. And if you don’t have a church nearby? Try going to another place that puts you in an optimistic frame of mind, like a playground or museum.

  • Join a sports team or other organization that supports teamwork and positivity as its core mission.

The sense of community will rub off on you, and many team members will likely attend regular events together outside of practice time.

  • Surround yourself with nature whenever possible!

Research shows that spending time outside helps boost our moods and make us happier overall, so even if it’s just an hour at lunchtime every day, go for a walk outdoors!

Be mindful

In the case of letting go of someone, being mindful means being present at the moment instead of dwelling on what you think should have happened or what you wish would happen in the future.

It’s also about accepting that this person is no longer in your life right now, but also knowing that it doesn’t mean they will never come back into your life again.

With this, you need to live in the moment and discard all the negative thoughts, and you can do it through meditation.

Here are the ways you can try to integrate mindfulness into your life.

  • Sit down in a quiet place and close your eyes.
  • Focus on your breathing, counting each inhales and exhales.
  • Bring it back to your breath when your mind wanders to other things.
  • Repeat this exercise for 10 minutes at least once per day.

Give yourself compassion

Self-compassion is simply being kind and thoughtful toward yourself amid suffering. It’s not about denying or ignoring your pain but about treating yourself with compassion and kindness when things aren’t going well. 

When you practice self-compassion, you can see that even though what’s going on is painful and even though it hurts, you’re still worthy of love, care, and support.

How do you have self-compassion? It’s not as harsh and challenging as you might think! Here are some tips.

  1. Take some of your time every day for self-care.
  2. Talk to yourself like you’d talk to a friend in the same situation.
  3. Be gentle and more patient with yourself.
  4. Spend five minutes every day doing something nice for yourself like
  • Reading a book
  • Listening to music
  • Taking a bath
  • Taking a walk around your neighborhood

This is one of the vital steps because if you aren’t kind to yourself, how can anyone be kind to you? What does someone usually say when someone else makes a mistake or does something wrong?

  • “It’s okay.”
  • “Mistakes happen”

That’s right! So why shouldn’t we treat ourselves with the same kindness and compassion?

How to cope with regrets

Now that we’re done discussing how you can let go, I know it’s not easy to get rid of regrets. In fact, letting go and regrets come in pairs, so it also makes sense to discuss this matter.

First thing first, you won’t learn how to put regrets aside if you don’t exactly know how to cope with them. 

So to help, you might want to consider these coping tips.

Self-acceptance

Regrets are a part of life. We all have them. And while it’s not easy to move past them, it’s possible! Here are some ways that self-acceptance can help you cope with regrets:

  • It helps you realize the importance of the present moment.
  • It helps you realize that your future is not yet written and can be changed if necessary.
  • It helps you build a connection with others in a meaningful way because they will be able to see that you are genuinely trying to accept yourself.

When you accept yourself, you’ll have an easier time getting into a situation where you play a part. This could be the key to letting go quickly.

Forgiveness

Forgiveness could mean two things. 

  1. Forgiving yourself. 

Forgiving yourself is essential because it helps you let go of the pain from feeling guilty or ashamed. When you forgive yourself for your mistakes, you allow yourself to move on from them without being weighed down by guilt or shame.

  1. Forgiving others

When we forgive someone or something for hurting us in some way, we’re letting go of our anger and resentment towards them or it. This allows us to let go of our negative emotions and move forward with our lives without having those emotions bogging us down. 

There’s nothing worthwhile than ending a relationship or bridging nicely with resentment.

Apologies

Apologizing is a way of acknowledging your mistake and taking responsibility for it. It’s also an act of making peace with yourself and others. 

When you apologize for something, it helps create an environment where people feel comfortable admitting their mistakes, too. It makes them more likely to forgive them when they’re made!

Shifting mindset

Regret is a feeling we all experience at some point. But what’s the best way to cope with it?

One way is to shift your mindset.

When we feel regretful, our mindset tends to be, “I should have done this.” But if we shift our perspective and think about how great things are now, that can help us feel better about the past.

So how do you actually make this shift happen? It all starts with redirecting yourself, such as permitting yourself to let go of the past and start living in the current moment instead.

For example,

Think about what makes you happy right now. Maybe it’s spending time with your friends. Watching TV every night before bed, or even setting personal goals for the next six months! Going for a walk outside every day at lunchtime.

You can let go! You can make it happen!

The next time you sense that pang of regret, know that it’s okay to let it pass. You don’t have to carry around your past mistakes forever. You can just let them go.

Sometimes we forget that we have the right to choose what to hold on to and what to let go of, and it’s up to us. We may not change the past, but we can change what we do with it now. And that’s a pretty powerful thing!

It’s not easy, and there’s no shortcut to letting go of someone, something, or some memories, but just so you know, it is possible!

Garo Kotchounian

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