How to learn to let go of the past

  • Aug 05, 2022
How to learn to let go of the past

Letting go of the past can become a challenge, especially if we want to forget events or people that have left a mark on our lives. Although the past is a fundamental part of existence, it is not healthy to cling to memories and experiences that prevent us from moving forward.

Neuroscience states that it is easier for the brain to remember negative events than positive ones, because they are processed more thoroughly. For this reason, the usual thing is to live in an emotional hamster wheel reliving what hurt us in the past. In this Psychology-online article we explain how to learn to let go of the past, in addition to giving you 6 easy-to-apply strategies to free yourself from emotional attachment to what has already happened.

Learning to let go is daring to make the necessary changes in our lives to improve the situation and be happier with reality. In other words, it is about free yourself from emotional or material attachments and memories that harm our quality of life. In turn, letting go is entering into a deep process of change to accept reality as it is: a direct result of the past and that cannot be changed.

Saying goodbye, although it can be a difficult process, should not be associated with anything painful. Learning to create a balance between honoring the past and not getting stuck in it is critical. Only in this way can we move forward and open the door to new and exciting experiences.

Why can't I get over the past? On many occasions we do not let go of the past because we are not aware of how much it affects us. In these cases, the first thing you should ask yourself is: can I change the past?

Letting go entails a reformulation of thoughts, since it will be necessary to restructure priorities, discard prejudices and develop a great capacity for adaptation. Therefore, you may find it difficult to let go of the past because you refuse to accept the past, your thoughts distort reality or because you do not want to accept that when you do there will be no reverse. However, you have to try to stop complaining and use everything you have learned to act and Live the present in the best possible way.

If you want to let go of a painful experience but don't know how to go about it, here are some strategies to help you do just that:

acknowledge your attachment

The first step in letting go of the past is to stop and think about what you are holding on to and why you need to move beyond that memory. If you clearly visualize the advantages of letting things flow, you will get the necessary motivation to leave the past behind and start to get out of the vicious circle of living in your memories.

In this article you will find the different Types of attachment and their consequences.


Practicing forgiveness is an effective and healing process. If there is something or someone you have to forgive, including yourself, do it as soon as possible. Embrace your flaws and don't hide your fears or grudges. On the contrary, let them flow so that you recognize them and can let them go.

You accept

For better or for worse, no matter how hard you try, you will never change the past. For this reason, the best way to face the present and move on is to accept what happened. Only then can you start preparing for all the exciting experiences that await you.

Give thanks and close circles

Recognize that the cycle is over and there is no turning back. Letting go also implies being grateful for experiences, be they good or bad. Try to focus your energy on the now and don't relive the thoughts that hurt you over and over again.

Live your grief or loss

Denying the existence of pain does not make it go away. For this reason, cry if you feel like it and seek professional help if you think you need it. The important is live the stage of grief or loss at your own pace, but without being tied to it.

On the other hand, a good company, both family members and your partner or friends will also help you get through this time.


allow your mind think of a better future and dream of all the good that is to come. On the other hand, you can look for new passions in your life that motivate you to have something else to think about. Help your family and your community, take care of your body and mind and try to become more productive little by little to move forward into the future.

How to learn to let go of the past - How to learn to let go and flow

This article is merely informative, in Psychology-Online we do not have the power to make a diagnosis or recommend a treatment. We invite you to go to a psychologist to treat your particular case.

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