Do you ever try to write your thoughts, but they’re coming too quickly for you to write them down? Do you have that feeling of overwhelming thoughts frequently? How much time do you spend ruminating on the past?
Imagine a day where you take each moment as it comes and don’t think about past moments. Imagine going to sleep at night without replaying all the wrong things you said that day. This freedom is totally possible by practicing a few new things and applying some principles to your daily life.
We all have a little nagging voice in the back of our head that can tend to narrate negative things regularly. That little nagging voice might convince you that you can tell exactly what others are thinking of you. When you believe these things, you’re only creating more destruction in your own life.
Instead of replaying each conversation you’ve ever had, focus your attention on the present moment. When we remember the past, we typically see more negative than positive.
Letting Go of The Past
What conversations or behaviors do you think about when you’re replaying negativity in your head? Are there people you actively avoid because you’re afraid of what they think of you?
Now is the moment where you can let yourself let go of all of those things and move forward. You no longer need to ruminate over the past. Are there memories that make you sad, angry, or fearful for the future? You can let these things go by releasing your regrets and turning them into a tool for positive growth.
How to Let Go of Regret
Follow these strategies:
- Get curious about what, exactly, you regret. Do you regret old relationships, decisions, behaviors, or words? The regrets that cause you the most distress are important to dissolve.
Write down your biggest regrets. Get them apart from you so that you can look at them. Get specific about what you regret. Consider your lifestyle, behavior toward others, or decisions. Do this nonjudgmentally.
Look at these regrets and think about what lessons you can learn from them. Maybe you can apply one of these situations to your values. You don’t need to use regrets to try to be perfect. Instead, you can look at them as opportunities to learn something new about yourself in a positive way.
Practice self-forgiveness. Give yourself permission to forgive yourself and grow forward. Imagine the shackles of your past dissolving. You will naturally struggle from time to time, and that’s okay.
Decide how to move forward. Though you cannot control every aspect of life, you can control the decisions you make based on your present moment. You don’t need to hide away in shame or continue to doubt yourself. Instead, rise up and embrace each moment with a stronger of compassion for yourself.
- Let your compassion for others grow. Regret helps us feel compassion for others because we can put ourselves in their shoes when sharing difficulties, even if we are on different paths. So, when you’re stuck in feelings of regret, you can instantly relate to all who have felt what you feel.
You grow through both your struggles and successes. You can use these moments of regret to re-energize your efforts to live your fullest life and love yourself completely.
That Little Nagging Voice
Have you noticed any constant chatter in your head that can put a negative tint on your day? What do you do during times of frustration with yourself? You have the power to confront this voice in the back of your head that tells you that you’re not enough. You can insist on the opposite, and you’re right.
Start by simply hearing what you say to yourself each day, through each interaction and situation.
Think about how your motivation relates to the way you’re speaking to yourself each day. When you’re in a good mood, how do you talk to yourself? When you’re in a bad mood and having a terrible day, observe how the way you speak to yourself changes or stays the same.
You can adjust the way you talk to yourself by replacing the negative thoughts you think with positive thoughts. It can be as simple as that. Simply come up with a thought that will oppose your critical self-talk.
For example, if you say, “I’m just going to keep disappointing people,” you can replace that thought with, “I am growing each day.”
This type of resetting the way you treat yourself will have a hugely positive long-term effect. You will notice your thoughts becoming more positive. Pay attention to how your mood changes as a result.
Do you overthink every social interaction you have? How do you feel when you’re approaching a large group of people? Some people thrive more when they are surrounded by people. Others need some quiet time to recharge. Think about how you feel when you’re in large groups.
It’s common for our thoughts to speed up in social situations because we’re paying attention to so many different things. The larger the crowd, the more there is to pay attention to. This can be overwhelming.
Luckily, there are simple things you can do to help ease any social anxiety you feel, regardless of the situation.
These strategies will help minimize social fear:
- Get curious about your fear. Is there something specific that you’re afraid will happen? Consider the feelings you feel when you think about an upcoming social situation. What emotions arise when you’re walking through a crowd or having a one-on-one coffee with someone?
- Walk yourself through that fear by getting rational. You cannot predict the future. Bring yourself to the present moment and acknowledge that you can choose to assume this will be a good experience, or you can choose to assume it will be a negative experience.
- Be compassionate with yourself. All moments are good times to unconditionally love yourself.
- Ask a friend to go with you to social situations that make you nervous. You and your friend will have a stronger bond, you will do something fun together, and you will have a chance to embrace socializing with a new energy.
When you can move past this fear, you can expand your horizons even further. Continue to grow your self-compassion by moving through fear and getting curious about it, rather than shying away from anything that might be out of your comfort zone.
When you truly believe that you’re worthy, you will find many of your common irrational fears drift away. As these fears dissipate, you will find yourself feeling more open and willing to have new experiences and adventures.
Getting Over Overthinking
Once you move past your negative thinking, you can begin to explore new arenas of your life. In order to best make these changes, free yourself from your negative self-talk and regret. Acknowledge the people around you and begin to open yourself up to new experiences.
When you have let go of self-doubt and begun to build your relationship with yourself, you will find that you don’t ruminate negatively on your day, your past, or your future.
Next, your readiness to embrace the world around will give you new opportunities to thrive.
This book gives a more in depth approach to this subject