Are you dealing with painful memories? Unable to move on from your past and find peace in life due to some negative experiences? You are not alone.

Many people are unable to move on from the pain of their experiences because they, without knowing it, allow their past to hold them back. They unconsciously punish themselves by griping about their past, picking up bad habits, and wandering through life without purpose. They hold on to past hurts and never seem to get over them. They continue to hold on to their pain through resentment and bitterness.  

If you want to grow from your painful experiences so you might attain peace in life, accept that the past happened. Here are some tips to help you grow from pain to peace:

Let go of the past. There is no point brooding over or suffering from what happened a long time ago. Past is past, so stop beating yourself up over something you did or suffered from. Learn from your painful memories and all other negative experiences, understand your feelings, choose to heal, become better, tougher and wiser, and move forward to embrace God’s new beginnings for you. Let go of the past, live the present, and let God lead you to the future. “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past…” Isaiah 43:18 NIV.

Practice mindfulness. Never give your painful memories and other negative experiences any power over your life. They all happened in the past, so why should you continue allowing them control over you? No matter how hard you think about them or how often you worry or grieve about them, there is nothing you can do to change them, so pay attention to the present – now and this moment. Stop dwelling on the past or nervously anticipating the future. Pay attention to your immediate experience right now and observe the moment. Celebrate your small joys. Enjoy and be grateful for the present. Being mindful is an excellent way to de-stress and get more out of life.

Live an active life. There are many ways to live an active life that you may make your existence count and your life more meaningful. Go out more with trusted people. Read good books. Visit new places. Learn new skills. Volunteer in your community or church. Take up a sport, pick up a new hobby, or start a side business. Do anything but don’t get busy to the point of exhaustion, stress, and being overwhelmed. The point is to keep your schedule full, your mind stimulated, and your body engaged, so you have less time to dwell on old memories and negative thoughts.  

Avoid drugs & alcohol. Are not your painful memories enough that you must hurt yourself with drugs and alcohol? Drugs and alcohol will never set you free from your trauma and, instead, will only make things worse for you. Drugs and alcohol will only increase stress, depression, and anxiety, especially in people who are already suffering the symptoms and aggravate your poor mental health. Using drugs and alcohol as a way to try to forget painful memories or to deal with negative experiences (such as a break-up or job loss) often leads to addiction. It is best to completely avoid and abstain from drugs, alcohol, and other mind-altering substances.

Avoid destructive behaviors. Other than alcohol and drug abuse, there are also other harmful behaviors that people do to forget painful memories and other negative experiences. Many people gamble, overeat, lose interest in their studies or work, and even bury themselves in their work (overworking to escape dealing with the more important issues in their life such as their personal relationships and happiness). Refrain from harmful behaviors. Seek help from trusted people and professionals.

Image by Alfonso Cerezo from Pixabay

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