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Learn From The Past, Live In The Present And Plan For The Future
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Learn From the Past, Live In the Present And Plan for the Future

Did you know that dwelling on things that have happened in your past can stop you from enjoying each day to the full? I expect you do. Did you know that it could also make you ill? I expect you know that too. And why wouldn’t you?

If it’s not something you’ve experienced yourself, you’ve probably come across people who are bitter about past experiences or missed opportunities and can't seem to stop talking about them. It’s hardly rocket science to think that they’re not doing themselves any good if they’re constantly looking back.

But researchers at the University of Granada have produced a small scale study which states that people who dwell on their past are not only more likely to fall ill and have an overall poorer quality of life, they are also perhaps surprisingly likely to be more pain sensitive. It's also not just about whether they have had a difficult past – it is the perception they have of their past.

However, it’s not all good news for those people who are always looking into the future searching for the next best thing rather than enjoying the present. Although it doesn't seem to have the same negative effects on their health as the people who are constantly looking back, they may not be as content because they overlook what they have and don't take enogh time to enjoy the present. Because of this they too tend to have a lower quality of life.

The most content and the healthiest people are those that learn from the past, enjoy the present and plan for the future. Of course that learning has to be turned into a positive. If you’ve learned not to trust people, that’s not something you want to continue into the present or the future.

So if you’re someone who displays a tendency to dwell on the past – here are my tips for living more positively in the present.

  • If you really can’t let go of something in the past and it’s keeping you stuck – seek professional help.
  • Always turn negative events into positive learning experiences. Sometimes it can be a real challenge, but the more you do it, the more it becomes a habit.
  • If you have things you need to let go of – write them down. Read through them and then make the commitment to let them go. Tear the paper up or burn it. It’s gone – let it go.
  • Depending on your own preferences, create a mood board, an audio recording or a written list of the things you’ve learned from the past, the positive things in your life now and some of your dreams and goals for the future. Make sure they are where you can see or access them and refer to them often.
  • If you’re in the habit of always focussing on the negative, it’s important that you take control of your own thoughts. Every time a negative thought about your past comes into your mind – switch the thought to something more positive. Remember, it’s important to try and establish new habits.
  • If you have a tendency to harp back to the past, think about whether you have been experiencing any physical symptoms that may be directly related. If you make changes to your thinking – monitor the impact on your healthy and well being, You should see a direct pay off – and feel healthier and happier.

How good are you at learning from the past, living in the present and planning for the future?

Street Talk

Hey BIS_Coach that is a *fabulous* way to handle visual! I have been struggling with pictures, learning Microsoft's Paint program and all. Icky:-) But I can certainly put a relevant quote in for every article I write. Easily! In fact, that's something I will enjoy. Look forward to. Instead of dread. So I learned from the past that I don't like doing pictures the way I'm doing them. I see a better solution in front of me in your article. And I like it! Now I look forward to planning for the future by doing quotes. Starting by writing an article on Monday and including a quote. Hey - great article! Talking picture because That IS What I Am Stuck On. thanking you - blessings, CYnthia

  about 1 decade ago

A really great article! I was just thinking about this on the drive home. If people only knew that positive thoughts can affect any situation, science has proved it!

  about 1 decade ago

Thanks Carlo for taking the time to comment. Glad you enjoyed it.

  about 1 decade ago
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