Are you constantly thinking about what was and giving yourself a headache as a result? Want to know why you keep thinking about what was instead of living in this present moment and how to stop? Then this article is for you.
I remember the time when I would constantly think about the past.
And how much suffering that would cause me.
But at the time didn’t realise it because it was all I was used to and what I identified myself with.
Therefore, for a long time thought it was just the way I was and I wasn’t able to change it.
Nor did I have any clue what to do about it.
Until I wasn’t able to take it anymore and incidentally began working with a therapist trained in EFT and Matrix Reimprinting (amongst other tools).
Therefore, to help you to avoid making the same mistake I did, I’m going to go behind the scenes of why you keep thinking about what was before I move on to how working with a therapist trained in EFT and Matrix Reimprinting will help you to stop it.
So, let’s get started.
What is ‘thinking about what was’ costing you?
Before I go into the…
- Why you keep thinking about the past; and
- How working with a therapist will help you to stop thinking about what was in order to be able to live in the present moment
I want to go over what thinking about the past is really costing you.
And I don’t mean in terms of monetary value alone.
I mean in terms of time, energy and effort too.
Since thinking about the past on one hand may seem effortless because it’s so natural and normal to do.
But in reality, is costing you a lot of time, money, effort and energy because it’s preventing you from being able to place your focus and attention elsewhere in order to be able to create the kind of results that you want to see in your life.
Whether that be a relationship, friendships, a successful career, financial freedom, you name it.
Why am I stuck living in the past by constantly thinking about what was?
Unprocessed thoughts, feelings and experiences are often why you will commonly keep thinking about what was instead of focusing on the here and now.
This is because unprocessed thoughts, feelings and experiences get stored in the body, which is otherwise known as the subconscious mind.
So they create this feedback loop where you’re constantly thinking and feeling what you were thinking and feeling the day before, a week before or even years before.
Since the more you leave unprocessed thoughts, feelings and experiences unprocessed the more you just keep layering and layering them with every new situation that comes your way.
In fact, if you want to know more about this Dr Joe Dispenza’s work is very influential in this area.
Why do you keep thinking about what was?
Another part of why you keep thinking about what was, however, is that it provides you with a sense of safety.
Therefore, you hold onto it because it’s familiar to you.
How to get over what was?
To get over what was, therefore, requires you to process any unprocessed and unconscious challenging thoughts, feelings and experiences.
As well as the ability to recognise that you no longer need to hold onto what was because it’s no longer serving you in the same way it used to.
So is now only holding you back from creating the life you want.
Because you see the only way to create the life you want is to let go of something, which is what therapy helps you to do so well.
SEE ALSO: HOW TO CLEAN YOUR LIFE?
How will you not look back when working with a therapist?
1. Allowing you to be heard, seen and understood
The fact that you have unprocessed thoughts, feelings and experiences is probably because you haven’t had anyone in your life to be able to share your thoughts, feelings and experiences with.
Therefore, deciding to suppress them instead of feel them when they arise.
However, this has created an emotional wall within you, which blocks out any joy, love and peace.
Therefore, keeping you connected to the pain of the past and unable to move forward in your life.
As a result, having someone to voice your thoughts, feelings and experiences to, whilst having them listen to you and give you their full attention helps you to break down that wall over time.
2. Mindfulness and Meditation
It’s really easy for our thoughts and feelings (whether about the past, present or future) to slip by our awareness.
Especially if we don’t believe in them.
Therefore, brushing them off as nothing.
But that’s not true at all.
Everything thought, feeling and experience has weight and so matters because they’re all teaching you something about you.
It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to listen and act on them.
But it does mean that you have to pay attention to them in order to be able to decide what to do next with them.
Therefore, by learning how to include mindfulness and meditation techniques into your daily life, such as moving down into your body as opposed to staying with your thoughts alone, you learn to not let any thoughts, feelings or experiences slip by your awareness.
Because you learn that if you do, you could miss out on something really important, which you don’t want to miss out on.
3. Providing you with validation
As soon as you express your thoughts, feelings, actions, reactions and/or experiences to your therapist, your therapist will help validate them by helping you to understand what’s behind them.
Therefore, over time helping you to gain confidence and trust in yourself and your decisions as you realise there was (and is) a basis for them.
They aren’t random or sporadic.
As a result, you don’t have to hold onto them anymore you can actually let them go.
4. Reframing your thoughts
Part of your therapist’s role in validating your thoughts, feelings, actions, reactions and experiences by going behind the scenes of them is also to help you to reframe them.
Therefore, over time helping you to see yourself and others along with the present and past differently to the way you’ve always viewed them.
Which, eventually helps you to stop thinking so much about the past.
So you can make new decisions within your life (see also: WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR DECISIONS?)
5. Reframing your memories
When we talk about unprocessed challenging thoughts, feelings and experiences, we are also talking about memories.
Since our memories (along with our present-day circumstances) hold emotional attachments to them, which further keep us tied to the past.
Not that we need to revisit all memories.
But when they do come up in therapy or even in between therapy sessions, it’s useful for you to have a tool like this one to work with both on your own and with your therapist to be able to see and feel them differently to the way you’ve always thought and felt about them.
Therefore, over time and with the support of the other tools listed above, helping you to let go of what was as you develop more of an understanding of the past.
Which helps you to also develop the compassion and peace you need to be able to move on from them.
SEE ALSO: AN ULTIMATE GUIDE OF PRACTICES TO TRY
Reframing your memories at home
To be able to carry out this exercise on your own outside therapy sessions download my free memory visualisation and rescripting exercise
Although, do note you may come across memories, which will be too challenging for you to revisit alone.
Therefore, preventing you from being able to revisit them.
In which case, it will benefit you to work with your therapist on them.
6. Increase your awareness
The more thoughts and feelings you become mindful of and get off your chest in order to be able to gain an understanding of them.
The more you increase your awareness too.
As you learn to feel safe expressing your thoughts and feelings to your therapist over time.
Therefore, allowing more thoughts and feelings to be brought to the surface so you can address them one by one and eventually resolve them.
So you can move on from what was.
SEE ALSO: BETTER YOUR LIFE IN 13 WAYS WITH THERAPY
Summary: How to stop thinking about what was and live in the moment?
So there you have it how to stop thinking about what was and live in the moment.
Work with a therapist to listen and validate your experiences, thoughts, feelings, actions, and reactions because they aren’t coming from out of nowhere.
Instead, they have a reason for arising, which you don’t currently understand.
And therefore, need to gain an understand and awareness of to be able to reframe your thoughts and memories.
So over time, you can let go of thinking about what was to be able to create the life you want.
Now over to you
I would love to know what you’ve already tried to stop thinking about what was and how they worked for you so let me know in the comments section below.
More to see on the blog…
- AN ULTIMATE GUIDE OF PRACTICES TO TRY
- 3 MORE TOOLS TO USE AWAY FROM THERAPY SESSIONS TO GET MORE OUT OF THEM
- HOW TO TALK TO SOMEONE WHO HAS HURT YOUR FEELINGS (WITHOUT GETTING ANGRY)?