10 Tips to Let Go of the Past and Focus on the Present



By Louis Dvorkin, Ph.D.Clinical Psychologist


Wondering how to turn on your bright side and let go of the past?

We tend to rehash past wrongs done by others or by us. It’s time to forgive those who offended you and those you offended. These act as weights that will either hold you down or, even worse, might make it unlikely for you to move forward in life. Losses can be especially burdensome. They may make certain people, places or things become inaccessible, turning them into prohibitive superstitions. You no longer are in control of life circumstances, they control you.


How does one break this “cycle of bad luck”?

  1. Give yourself daily permission to dwell on past hurts/losses for 30-minutes, then move on.
  2. Ask yourself, “What is the worst thing that could happen?” You will gain acceptance. Try to avoid would, should/could words from your vocabulary while doing so.
  3. No recycling or rehashing the past. Let it go.
  4. Get yourself to a point where you can achieve acceptance of those things past.
  5. Take physical items (e.g., photos, letters) and put them in a box and place them on a shelf. No need to throw them away. You can take them out when you have developed a new, more positive state of mind.
  6. Journal your thoughts. Put pen to paper. Don’t hold back. Let it out. Then, here comes the most difficult part, shred it!
  7. Prioritize. The future is now. Per Dr. Seuss, “Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” Stay in the present moment.
  8. Pay it forward. Give back. Be there for those who you trust.
  9. Own your life. You are unique. Rediscover those important parts of yourself. Take walks, call an old friend, scrapbook, go to a peer support meeting, volunteer.
  10. Reconnect with yourself. Let those past things go, pull up your anchor and set yourself free. Move on. Make new memories.

The past will only seem like a bend in the road…not a dead end. Be well!






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