Therapy Tuesday: Reflecting on Past Thoughts and Moving Forward

thichnhathanh quote

I bet there are times when you reflect on situations from the past and beat yourself down for how you acted within that moment or for hurting people unintentionally. It can be rather depressing because the thoughts come rolling in at 100 mph, which can put you into a depressive state. You ask yourself questions such as:

Could I have handled that better?” 
“Why didn’t I do this instead?” 
“Why didn’t I think it out more?” 
“Who else did I hurt?” 
“Was I wrong?”
“What do people think of me?”

I know, it’s a lot to reflect on, but you shouldn’t beat yourself down about it.
IT’S OK! This is what I’m telling you, and this is what you need to tell yourself.
We all have thoughts from our past that bothers us. It’s easier to say, Don’t think about it”, but it’s harder to do so. I feel we all have thoughts from the past that we reflect on and feel down about. At times, we stress ourselves out thinking about our past actions and how we could’ve handled things better. Wishing that we can be forgiven for an unintentional mistake.

We are all humans at the end of the day. We all make mistakes. We were unaware of those mistakes within the moment, but we can’t beat ourselves down about something that’s already happened.
It hurts knowing you hurt someone, even though your action wasn’t intended to do so, but be mindful that you’re human. Everybody’s hurt somebody unintentionally. We have to come to terms with this and learn to be better people through it.
Consistently reminding yourself about the past and what you could’ve done, will not change the past, nor your present state. You have to live within the now (present) and use that past experience as a lesson in becoming a better person for the future. We cannot control what happened, it already happened, but we can take that lesson and use it to help us within the future. Once we come to the realization that we’re not perfect and can accept that, it will bring some relief to the conscience.

Moving forward, find task that preoccupy your brain to help you block out these thoughts. Keeping your mind busy can keep your mind off of these past thoughts. I find that not having activities to do will open up room for these thoughts to resurface. Our thoughts are powerful and can manifest different energies. The last thing you want to manifest is anything negative. You want to have positive and healthy thoughts moving forward. Here are examples of what you can do to avoid building up anxiety and going into a depressive state:

  1. Quotes Start your day off with a positive quote. Words are powerful and can bring enlightenment. What better way to start off your day but on a positive note. I write  a quote on my mirror for the week to keep me motivated. I pass my bathroom mirror every day, so it’s kind of hard for me not to read it.
    Send notifications to your phone or download an app to give you a quote for the day. Words can uplift your spirit.
  2. ExerciseI find that exercise is one of the best ways to get your mind away from these thoughts. Exercise can also relieve stress, anxiety, and depression. If you’re having bothersome thoughts, take a run, do some yoga, take a swim. Put your focus into your physicality instead.
  3. MusicWhat better way to be taken into a different world away from your thoughts. Plug in your headphones and drift away into another dimension. Sing your heart out to your favorite song. Music has the ability to alter your mood. Think of the songs you enjoy and dance like nobody’s looking.
  4. MeditationTurn up the solfeggios and binaural beats. Relax your mind. Chant your mantras and burn your incense and sage (or burn other things). A little peace of mind can do so much for the psyche. Your mind needs a break as well. I feel many people don’t really explore the depths of who they are. Learning about yourself can transform your mind. Meditation can do the mind and body some good.
  5. WritingIf I were to say that this is one of my favorite activities, would it be a shocker to you, or would you think “OBVIOUSLY“. Write whatever comes to your mind. Free Writing is a good tool to get a lot off your chest. You’d be surprise how writing your thoughts out can relieve stress. Set aside 20 minutes and just write. Don’t pay attention to spelling or grammar, just write what comes to your mind and don’t stop until the 20 minutes are over.
  6. ReadingGet lost in a world of adventure, pleasure, politics or whatever your heart desires when it comes to reading. Not only is reading a good stimulant for the mind, but you’ll be too busy reading things about other matters, that your matter, will no longer matter. Make sense? In other words, you’ll be stuck in another world and won’t think about those detrimental thoughts.
  7. Video GamesWhat more is there to stay? You know if you’re playing video games, that you’re paying attention to the game. I don’t care what anyone says, I’m a gamer, I know this activity works. I’m too busy trying to get my button combos right with Sonya Blade on MK11 to even think about anything else. Who said video games aren’t good for your head!

    You can choose to do whatever activity you want, as long as it keeps you feeling good and positive. You want to create healthy thoughts in your mind, not detrimental ones. Remember, once again, YOU’RE HUMAN. The past is the past, live within the present, and improve for the future.