Life is a complex amalgam of the past, present, and future. One goes through different experiences and sometimes unpleasant ones become so encumbered that it becomes difficult for one to cope with life anymore. Everyone has a limit beyond which they cannot carry the weighty chapters of their story. We all experience haunting memories but It is totally normal to have an undesirable past; life test’s every one of us at some point. But, it’s not wise to carry the weight of it throughout your life. These tips will teach you how to get over your past:

1. Confront your past and decide to move on

We all go through harrowing moments at some point in our lives. It gets quite troublesome to overcome the traumatic past. Because the awful memories keep on haunting you. The never-ending battle with past memories makes your life devoid of all the joys. In order to deal with it accept that you have had a vicious past, and your goal is to confront your past without any fears, guilt, or regrets. Accept it without any shame. Decide that you are not going to let it get the best of you. The first step is to realize that there was a chapter in your life that has become a nightmare for the rest of your life and you are determined to get out of the nightmare. Take a deep breath, vent the frustration, and decide that you will confront it, fight it, and beat it.

2. Express yourself more to  forget the painful past

We keep on piling our emotions and they become dreadful for us. Usually, it is the case that we don’t consider shouting in joy a shame but out of shyness and hesitation, we find it difficult to vent in front of others. Ever noticed how awkwardly people start shifting their gaze here and there when they are questioned bout their agonizing past? Because they consider a part of them to be responsible for the painful experience they have gone through. Keep in mind that being a part of a terrible chapter doesn’t make the whole story malignant. To lessen the burden of your emotions,  you too need an outlet. Outlet the emotions through activities like writing, painting, singing, etc. It will make you feel less burdened.

3. Be a warrior, fight self-pity to get over your past

Self-pity is the biggest hurdle in your way of getting over your past. The inner critic in you is always ready to bring you down. For instance, you had been in a relationship in your high school that turned out to be a toxic one. You probably think that getting into a relationship and later on seeing the one you love walk away makes you available for pity by everyone. Now here lies the problem, accepting yourself as a victim has closed the door to move on. Gather courage, delete all the old pictures, ruin the possessions serving as a reminder, and shut the inner critic by every time telling him that you are on the way and one day you’ll be able to let go of the past. Pity will never let you get over your past. 

Keep on confronting the cruel and painful past; one way is that make yourself busy or distracted whenever old memories start encroaching. Keep on doing that and one day you’ll be able to liberate your mind from agonizing memories.

4. Modify your present to get over your past

Most of us are living in the present but our mind is subconsciously stuck in the traumas we experienced earlier in life. This can be changed by modifying our present. The setting of your bedroom, the vibes you get from your peer group, everything reminds us of a painful past. The painful past has become your comfort zone, the comfort zone which is working as a slow poison and you can’t control your mind to not dig the old graves of memories. Then how can you expect your present to pull you out of your past? When you are not allowing yourself to let go of the past trauma. So, change the things that remind you of your past. 

Curtains hanging in your room, your old shirt in your wardrobe, your playlist, places you go to fill the void, etc are all the reasons you are still there. Start taking the baby steps by changing the very basic things around you to get over your past. 

5. Spend and invest in the present to get over your past pain

What if I say that moving on from the past can be a little expensive? Yes, it can be done through monetary help as well but trust me it is worthwhile. Isn’t it quite queer that you are being told that you need money to get over your past? But things work in an amazing fashion. If you go to a nearby salon and have yourself that expensive haircut that is in, or you go to a nearby restaurant to experience a new Asian dish. You can also roam around in a mall for hours long, not out of sadness, but to expand your perfume collection.

You will be amazed at how these new trials will open your self-created boundary of yours and will enhance your will to explore and try new things. Yes, keep on exploring new things that will amaze you, and every time you are wondered by the happiness of a new experience. The urge to move ahead will eventually make you realize how much you have lost because of a painful past. Here are some other amazing ways to be happy again.


6. Practice mindfulness

Usually, we are physically present in one moment and mentally stuck in the past trauma of ours, or a future dream of ours. That gap is because of the fact that we lack mindfulness. This means that we are somewhere else and our mind is somewhere else. Ever noticed that your instructor is writing an algebra question on the whiteboard while your mind is stuck in the bicycle gift that you have lost last month? Mindfulness will help you to be in the present moment, it works miraculously is boosting the memory, sharpening the focus, and being in the present moment.

It helps you to get over your past and is the most effective, scientifically proven method of flushing painful memories. Your mind has made its comfort zone in a different time zone. Getting yourself out of the past and returning to the present moment is the goal to forget the past and move on with your life and mindfulness helps to achieve it.

It is said that meditation and yoga are two techniques that help you gain mindfulness.  Ever noticed pundits sitting at one place in a particular position and not moving even a bit, in Bollywood movies? Yes, that’s how meditation is done. It is basically feeling stillness all around and filling yourself with an eternal calm and peace of the universe. There are many videos available on YouTube for beginners that play different music in the background and instruct accordingly to achieve the desired aim. You can practice meditation right before sleep. It is extremely beneficial as you clear your head with all the trashy thoughts, get a peaceful sleep and in the morning open your eyes with an unburdened mind. Meditation and yoga help in dealing with a painful past and eventually you get over your past. 

7. Disconnect with every reminder of a painful past

Continuously being in a particular setting and injecting all the negativity in you ruins your chance of stepping out of the past. To get over your past it is important that you disconnect yourself from all the current activities for a while. It sounds a bit queer but it really helps. For instance, if you are currently on vacation from your high school you can plan a two weeks visit to your aunt nearby. Moving away from the people and places that remind you of your past helps in a way that for some time your brain stops getting the same input from your surroundings.

When it experiences new things it disconnects with the old stories of your life for a while opening for you a gateway of new experience. It’s not specifically related to shifting the place, everything which connects you with your past should be halted for a while one example of which is social media, the Instagram picture, Facebook notifications of a year back post, etc. Spend time in seclusion with new experiences to get over your past.

8. Forgiveness is the key to getting over your past

They say ‘forgiveness is the most difficult beautiful act’. People who have wronged you at someplace in your life, dwell forever in your heart occupying one sad corner of it. This is one reason you find it difficult to get over your past because people who you weren’t expecting have wronged you and the very thought of this makes you gloomy for a long time. You want them to apologize but you don’t realize this further increases the frustration. But, that is okay, forgive yourself for letting the negative people make life miserable for you, forgive them for playing vicious against you. I know that is the one bold step I am offering you but it works miraculously.

Trust me forgiving the painful past, people and your own self takes a lot of mettle but it ensures the peace of your mind. The only way you can let go of your painful past and be happy is to forgive everything which makes you restless.

Self-forgiveness is the way forward

Acknowledge that mistakes are a part of life; give yourself a margin of being human. Mistakes are an individual’s opportunity to learn and grow. People indulged in the guilt and agony of their painful past. They keep on torturing themselves for one mistake. You cheated on someone the memories of which still haunt you. The best way to get over your past is to forgive yourself after picking up the lessons from the mistake. Seek forgiveness from the one you hurt, make a promise of not repeating the mistake, adopt kindness as a way of life, and be helping to those around you. This will help you to forgive yourself and move on. Accept that mistakes are an inevitable part of human life and no one can avoid them. But, at the same time, they are the only source of learning, growing, and evolution into good humans.

9. Seek gains amidst the pains

The saying ‘pain leads to gains’ is applicable here also. Nature bestows upon us great lessons and treasures on the path of our suffering. They often remain unnoticed. A person who has been in a toxic relationship for years is battling with dreadful memories. But, there are so many things he is overlooking. God has saved him from bearing a toxic person throughout his life. He is able to differentiate between an understanding and a toxic life partner. Divine has given him a chance to choose better for himself. Every one of us has his own set of joyful and harsh experiences in life. All we need is to shift our focus from the pain and pay attention to our gains after a tedious journey. Instead of intoxicating ourselves with the painful memories of the past. We need to look into the countless blessings nature has bestowed upon us.

10. Fight the inner critic and remorse with gratitude

Gratitude is the most beautiful feeling as it keeps a person mindful of how blessed he is. Gratitude helps a person overcome the complaints that are popping up because of the inner critic. We are so indulged in the miseries of our painful past that we forget the blessings of the present. God has gifted us with so many blessings even the painful past with a valuable life lesson itself is a blessing. A person who fell into a troublesome situation comes with filtered out a list of loyal friends at the end of it.


A new life is waiting for you, use the blessings, motivation from supportive friends, and the positive abilities you are gifted with to forget the past and move on with your life. Look around the opportunities you have, the abilities you have, and craft the best possible future by them. Be thankful for the little effort people are making in your life, be thankful to your own self because you have moved this far.

11. Try systematic desensitization

Systematic desensitization is the psychological method to treat post-traumatic stress disorder. It is behavioral therapy to relax after fear and traumas that arose because of a painful past. This method uses relaxation techniques that are practiced in imagination and help overcome anxiety and fear. If pain is obstructing your path and nothing is working for you to overcome anxiety after trauma then seeks professional help. Psychiatrists combining medication and behavioral therapies will help you get over your past effectively. If you don’t find any professionals near you go for online psychiatry sessions. If this too is impossible for you then try recording psychological sessions of behavioral therapies on YouTube. This can help you a lot to get over your past.


These are a few of those techniques that can help you get over your past if you practice them honestly. We are all in a race, an athlete may win a race with a weight on their back but it becomes extremely difficult to win it with the burden. You may win it by carrying the weight of a painful past but it would take more time and effort comparatively. Follow the aforementioned techniques to unburden yourself. It’s only you who has to plan to get out of your painful past. It will not be an overnight process but it will surely work if done with consistency. Practice them with a firm belief that one day you’ll get over your past and start enjoying the present moments around. So, pull up your sleeves, be courageous, and get up because a happy life is waiting for you ahead.

About the Author

Syed Sarmad Ali

Syed Sarmad Ali is a Writer, Poet, and a Digital Marketing Enthusiast. He aims to spread happiness and inspire people to Live, Love & Laugh wholeheartedly.

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