Are you living in the past? How can you live a happy life when you can’t let go of what’s already happened? Instead of focusing on the present, you’re caught in a web of reflection and brooding, and only your past mistakes seem to matter. Yet there are many out there who live each day with a happy and positive view of life.

1. Let the Emotions Flow

One mistake many people make is that they try to ignore their emotions altogether, which is the worst thing to do. To move forward, feel your emotions. This is key to understanding why you are upset in the first place. Let the tears come until you can cry no more, or scream into a pillow until the frustration ebbs away. Let it all out in order to let go of the past and live a happy life.

2. Express yourself

Don’t hesitate to get the pain you’re feeling off your chest. Whether it’s talking to the individual who has harmed you (or who you harmed), venting to a friend, or writing it down, expressing your feelings can assist you in sorting out what, if anything, needs to be done to move on.

3. Be the Hero Not the victim

Our feelings can come from all kinds of incidents. The situation that’s particularly hard to get over is the one that’s not your fault. And it’s not! There are a number of reasons you may feel victimized – someone took something from you, or you lost a loved one, or maybe you lost your job and, therefore, a good income. It’s important to note that this has already happened, and it’s time to overcome and be the person you’d like to be, and not the person who suffered. It’s hard, but you can do it – be a hero.

4. Focus on the present

One of the most effective ways to let go of the past is to embrace the present. Instead of reliving the past and getting consumed with negativity, keep yourself active and enjoy the current moment. Learn a new skill. Meditate. Exercise. Have dinner with a friend. Make a new friend. Whatever it is, just live in the moment – even if it’s just sitting at your desk and watching the clouds roll by.

5. Embrace Happiness

What makes you happy? Those cheerful memories you like to think about can find their way into your present life, too. You just need to adjust your world to include that kind of happiness. Do you love golf, but you have a knee problem so you can’t play anymore? Take up croquet, or get your friends together to watch tournaments as a group. For any situation, it’s a great idea to reach out to friends with similar interests. Chances are, your friends have the same trouble as you, and together you can help each other and find some new fun interests.

6. Control Your life

Every day is a new day for you to enjoy. It’s an opportunity to take your loves and passions and experience them. Think things through. What would you like your world to look like? If something upsetting happens, and it will, this is life, take it in, but don’t let your world come to a screeching halt. You can still grieve and live a fulfilling life. The happiest people are those who live in the moment. Take control of your life – it’s yours to live each day, however you please. Enjoy it!

7. Disconnect for a while

Allow yourself to take some time away so that you can clear your head. You don’t have to go backpacking through Europe. Just remove yourself from the situation by distancing yourself from the people, places, and things that remind you of the past. Practicing ways to disconnect for a while will give you the chance to experience something positive — even if that’s just camping at a nearby campground without any access to social media.

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