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14 Practical Tips To Let Go Of The Past And Move Forward

It might be challenging to let go of the past sometimes. Accepting your emotions, especially anger, and committing to letting go are among the ways that may assist. Getting professional help from a mental health expert may frequently offer a secure environment for this.

Tough events may significantly influence people’s daily lives, from their beliefs to their choices.

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Past experiences that might be challenging to let go of involve romantic relationships, perceived achievements or failures, mistakes, regrets, or traumatic and frightening situations.

However, there are strategies to deal with the aftereffects of past events and experiences. This might include practicing self-compassion, experimenting with mindfulness to concentrate on the present moment, or seeking treatment to address unresolved emotional pains.

This article will examine how individuals may let go of past trauma and hurts, why this might be challenging, and some particular recommendations. Read on to learn more!

Why Is It So Difficult To Let Go Of The Past?


People are affected by their life experiences in many ways. Some individuals find it easier to move forward after a painful experience, but others discover that such experiences have a long-term influence on their mental health.

People who have difficulty letting go of painful experiences from their past may have been traumatized. Trauma is a sort of psychological wound that any painful event, such as grief, danger, or humiliation, may cause.

People commonly associate trauma with involvement in a violent incident, such as war. It may, however, afflict anybody. Its anguish may also alter people’s thinking.

Some individuals suffer from rumination or an inability to stop thinking about the past repeatedly even how badly they want to let go of things.

People who ruminate frequently suffer from a history of trauma and feel that ruminating allows them to develop insight.

When you’re experiencing rumination, you ponder about the past because you have regrets. Rather than embracing the past, you consider what you could have done differently.

People might also cling to the past for a variety of different reasons. They may, for instance, yearn for positive experiences that are sadly no longer available or dwell on past traumas because of a subconscious desire to prevent being harmed in the future.

Symptoms That You Are Living in the Past

Feelings of unresolved bitterness, betrayal, grief, loss, anger, and pain or suffering are prevalent among those who battle to let go of a past event and experience. 

If you exhibit any of the symptoms listed below, it is best to act now and let go of the past to enhance your mental health. When you live in the past, you are prone to:

  • Hold discussions on past issues, mistakes, or individuals.
  • Compare your present experiences to those of the past.
  • Repeatedly recalling traumatic experiences.
  • You disregard or disrespect yourself.
  • Wanted to repay or prove anything.
  • Getting more negative or nasty.
  • Feel worried or anxious.
  • Terrified of being alone with your thoughts and emotions.
  • Take things too seriously or personally.
  • Ignore every opportunity to learn or transform things.
  • Can’t let go of any previous occurrences, positive or negative.
  • Be quickly irritated.
  • Avoid new experiences and connections.
  • Expect negative things to occur.
  • Complain and compare yourself to other people.
  • You feel you have failed and can’t move forward.

Recognizing the symptoms of living in the past is the first approach toward a better tomorrow. When you let go of the past, you’ll be ready to live your life in the present and appreciate life for what it is.

14 Practical Tips For Letting Go Of Past Mistakes, Hurt, and Traumas

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It may be pretty tough to detangle yourself from whatever you’ve gone through, whether it’s a past mistake, relationship, or trauma—but the good news is, the desire to move ahead is steering you in the right way.

One of the most effective methods to recover from hurts is to gain insight from the experience and use those insights to concentrate on progress and forward momentum. Your life will significantly change once you learn how to move on from the past.

1. Be Deliberate

As you become aware that you are stuck in the past, you may become aware that something must alter for you to go ahead.

Personal growth and progress always begin with an intention—a desire and readiness to do something new to achieve a different outcome. The first step is to let go of the past with intention and purpose.

2. Forgive Yourself and Others

When we commit mistakes, we may be pretty hard on ourselves because of the things that happened. If you strive for perfection, this is especially true for you. You may find it difficult to believe that you are capable of making mistakes.

You may fear making mistakes for various reasons, including shame or imposter syndrome in a new work. When you are harsh on yourself, it strikes your self-esteem significantly.

You must learn to forgive yourself as you learn from your mistakes. You must cultivate self-compassion. Forgiveness is essential to the healing process since it lets you let go of anger, remorse, shame, or any other negative emotion.

3. Take Responsibility

If applicable, it can assist those who experience remorse, shame, or disgrace about the past to accept responsibility for their part. This does not imply imposing blame on yourself but rather admitting what occurred and accepting responsibility for past actions.

This is an essential part of your process since it will keep you committed to moving forward

Also, this can help you feel less powerless and more confident that if you can take accountability for the past, you can also do so in the future.

4. Condition Your Mind

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The most significant breakthroughs in life occur when you discover tactics, construct an inspiring narrative, and ensure you’re in the proper condition to go ahead.

To accomplish this, you must train your thinking every day. It will sometimes feel weird. However, you must teach your mind to stop thinking negative self-talk and begin adopting influential ideas that boost you up rather than pull you down.

Life starts happening to you instead of for you if you fail to take the time to evaluate and alter your actions. No matter how brilliant, insightful, or inspired you are, if you don’t stand guard at the entrance of your mind, you offer implicit consent to what is disempowering, disillusioning, and disenchanting.

Instead of concentrating on how to let go of the past, you’ll be sidetracked by ideas that keep you stuck in bad habits and negative emotional cycles.

Instead of restricting yourself, tell yourself uplifting stories. Fill your head with hope and new knowledge. Surround yourself with positive people who inspire you to be your best.

5. Apply Positive Affirmations or Mantras


Affirmations and mantras could be practical steps to let go and help you “rewire” negative thought loops, training your mind to search for and hold onto what you’re saying yourself, which is why experts recommend them for letting go of the past.

Here’s a short listing of mantras and positive affirmations to help you let go of the past:

  • I’ve decided to let go of the past.
  • I am excited about my future.
  • At this moment, I am completely present.
  • I can’t change the past, but I can choose how I react to it.
  • I am tenacious.
  • I’m prepared to move on.
  • I am thankful for the person I am now.
  • I am more than the experiences that have occurred to me.
  • I offer myself grace and tolerance.
  • I welcome fresh beginnings.

6. Develop Your Mindfulness Skills

If we have no awareness of the ideas that run rampant in our minds, we might not be aware that we have been enslaved and attached to the past. Mindfulness is a helpful technique for letting go of the past. 

Spend more time practicing mindfulness, concentrating on the present and what is rather than what was. Mindfulness may also entail your body’s grounding, whether you practice yoga or meditation or spend more time strolling in nature.

Helping individuals root in the present moment allows them to separate the past from the present and focus more solidly on what is occurring in the present rather than what happened in the past.

7. Change Your Perspective

So much sorrow in life is generated by the belief that you influence how other people feel and behave. We believe that our situations are the consequence of some mysterious power, while they are the outcome of our choices.

We can transform negatives into positives, losses into chances, and mistakes into lessons. All we have to do is recognize that the only thing we have control over in life is our own choices and actions – and move our concentration out of other people and situations that are out of our hands.

You can’t undo a bad relationship and things that have happened, yet you can let go of past hurts and mistakes. You can’t change your upbringing, but you can recognize that your past cannot predict your future. Every day is a new beginning. 

Every waking minute is filled with decision-making. Breaking the pattern and putting your energy into creating the life you deserve is essential to overcoming the past and moving forward.

8. Surround Yourself With Positive People

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What distinguishes individuals who succeed from those who fail? It’s not a lack of time or abilities; it’s understanding how to harness the law of attraction to acquire what they desire.

They know that you sense what you concentrate on. You receive back the energy you send out into the world. And who you associate with shapes who you become. 

It is far more challenging to let go of the past when surrounded by individuals continuously reminding you of it.

When you use the notion of peer elevation in your life and surround yourself with positive people devoted to development and advancement, it will be much simpler to move forward. The quality of a person’s life commonly reflects their social group’s expectations.

Surround yourself with encouraging and positive individuals. Build new memories with them and allow your good sentiments to develop. You’ll quickly find yourself concentrating less on the bad and more on the good happenings in your life.

9. Let The Negative Emotions Flow Peacefully

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If your dread of negative emotions is holding you back from experiencing them, you are not alone. People fear emotions like sorrow, rage, disappointment, and grief. It’s best to allow yourself to feel your emotions to help you move forward from the past. This, however, takes time and practice.

Rather than feeling them, people attempt to block them out, which can make it hard to let go. These negative emotions are like riptides, which makes the process of letting go more challenging.

Allow them to flow from you. Battling them may necessitate mental health intervention, but doing so can leave you trapped.

10. Talk To Someone About It

You have your own perspectives regarding the past. Permit yourself to speak with someone about it. Having someone to confide in helps you articulate and validate your concerns.

Your loved one can likely give you a new perspective on why you must let go of the past. At least communicating with someone you trust about the matter can help release it. It may be challenging to bring it up, but the effort will be worthwhile.

11. Live In The Present

You must also redirect your attention to the present moment by giving up past thoughts that may or may not be helpful to you. Remember that the only moment that matters is the present. The future exists only in your imagination; it does not exist in reality. 

The past is just in your memory, and memories are susceptible to being contaminated with lies. The only genuine thing is what is occurring in the present moment.

Because of this, nothing is more powerful than a human mind at peace in the here and now, unburdened by worries about the past or the future.

The gift of presence is so potent that it can also offer fulfillment to those surrounding you. Your kids will benefit from your presence, your partner will be recognized, and your relationship will benefit as a result. Your connections strengthen over time.

You can train yourself to live in the moment. Interact with your real life rather than your smartphone screen if you want more joy, happiness, and fulfillment. 

Stop allowing technology’s impulses to draw you away from reality. Bring your focus to the present moment and consider what is wonderful. The most excellent key to forgetting the past is to stop living in it.

12. Seek Help From A Mental Health Professional

If you cannot or struggle to let go of traumatic experiences and events from the past, it may be beneficial to seek the help of a licensed therapist to help you walk away from your past and stop it from harming your present and future. 

There are instances when it is complicated to implement these methods on your own every time the thoughts of the past arise, and you require talking to a professional.

Leaving the past behind can be difficult. Establishing a commitment to let go and acknowledging your emotions, including your bitterness and anger, are helpful measures. If you are having a difficult time letting go of your traumas, consider counseling, they can provide a safe space in which to do this.

13. Give Back

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As you endeavor to figure out how to let go of the past, discover something bigger than yourself that you wish to serve. Make an effort to better your frailty, community, and the world. Finding motives that extend beyond oneself is crucial.

Regardless of how broke or damaged you are, you have something to offer others, even if it’s as simple as a smile or an ear to listen. Realizing that the key to success is giving can dramatically improve your life and empower you to move on from the past.

Your life matters if you align yourself with the reality that you’re not presently to “get” but to “give,” then others will sense your genuineness and be more receptive to you.

Giving back teaches you of your purpose. Concentrating on the needs of others enables you to accomplish more than you imagined possible.

14. Self-care

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Developing a balance is necessary when working on oneself. Self-compassion is a good starting point. It could assist you in regaining a sense of autonomy and control over your happiness. If you can demonstrate self-love, it will be simpler to move on.

If you require time away to recover, embrace it. Do activities that bring you joy, help you relax, and refresh you. Sleep well, consume nutritious foods, exercise regularly, and attempt relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, or a heated bath. 

Giving yourself some essential attention, particularly after an unpleasant experience, is the most effective method to begin the healing process.

Change your environment if it constantly reminds you of the past. Throw away things that continuously create a negative memory and thoughts.

Your new, encouraging environment will reduce the likelihood that your emotions will rule you. It will allow you to leave the past behind, start living a more joyful and reclaimed life, and progress into the present and future.

The Bottomline

It is not always simple to let go of the past, especially if you have unaddressed emotional anguish. However, there are methods to walk away from the past while improving your mental health.

Seeking a healthy space to process painful emotions, fostering self-compassion, and cultivating mindfulness to be more fully engaged in the present time are all examples of this. Thoughts from the past might become more simple to live with over time.


Why can’t I give up on the past?

A problem letting go of the past is likely associated with one or more of these significant emotions: shame, resentment, sadness, and anger. Guilt is a feeling that informs us that we have broken some rules or norms. “I should’ve done that,” for instance, or “Why did I say that?”

Why is it important to let go of the past?

We may completely participate in our own healing when we let go of the past and embrace change. There is a widespread idea that the authentic you can only be seen via your unfiltered emotions, thoughts, and words, the you that arise without any careful consideration. You put your first response on a pedestal.

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