How to Stop Being Stuck in the Past


One of the common traits of experiencing mental health issues like depression and anxiety is spending time wishing we could change our past. People tend to relive their past decisions and experiences while focusing on how they wish they had chosen differently or reacted in another way. Unfortunately, remaining rooted in the past can never change it, but instead can create more opportunities for us to feel regret later on.

How Your Present Life Can Affect the Past

English author and satirist Sir Terry Pratchett had a quotable take on the whole subject:

“There have been times, lately, when I dearly wished that I could change the past. Well, I can’t, but I can change the present so that when it becomes the past it will turn out to be a past worth having.” 

Since living in the past rarely changes anything in the present, it’s important to learn to redirect your mind to focus on how you live your life today so you can reflect on it later and feel pride and accomplishment for this time in your life.

Steps to Take

Ask yourself what feelings you want to have when you look back on this time in your life. Decide on what you want to achieve that will elicit feelings of joy and accomplishment. Write a detailed list of what it would take to attain what you want and how long it will take you to get there. As you complete your list of goals and steps you can take to achieve them, you will soon be able to look back at this time and feel a sense of peace because you chose to live in today rather than the past.

One of the most damaging aspects of living with a mental illness like depression or anxiety is the tendency to focus on the past. People often endlessly relive past decisions or things that happened and torture themselves with regret about what they did or actions they wish they had taken. While no one has the power to change the past, they can create a different life they are living today which will eventually become a past they look back on with satisfaction. Valiant Living offers professional help for those living with mental illness to assist them in managing their mindset and moods. We use multiple treatment modalities to foster empowerment and pride in our clients. Our men-only facilities located outside of the Denver area are a wonderful place to evaluate and manage your mental health and leave with a new sense of hope for your future. Call us today to find out how we can help you get started! (303) 952-5035