The Steps To Stop Dwelling On The Past: The Ultimate Guide

Stop swelling on the past, the steps to stop dwelling on the past

You've just found the ultimate guide to learn how to stop dwelling on the past and move on. This is everything you need to know to effectively and powerfully help you to move on from the past.

So if you want to:

  • Is dwelling on the past problematic?
  • Is dwelling on the past a sign of depression?
  • Why can't I stop dwelling on the past?
  • Letting go of what you can't control
  • How to stop dwelling on past
  • Move on from past mistakes
  • What to do if you think, "I can't move on from the past"
  • Stop feeling guilty about the past

Let's dig in so you can stop dwelling on the past or ruminating the negative thoughts so you can reach your potential and live an abundant life.

Is dwelling on the past problematic, dwelling on the past, move on from the past

Is dwelling on the past problematic?

We live in three dimensions all day long. We live in our past by way of our thoughts, we live in the future worrying about what will be and we live in the now moment as you're reading this article. 

Realizing that when we're dwelling on the past, it's usually about how someone spoke harshly to us or about an event or something that someone did to us. We're ruminating over the mistakes that we made and sometimes we're thinking about the past when times were simple and wishing we could experience that now. 

We must be careful about this because it's what keeps us incapable of creating this now moment of joy and satisfaction but also the ideal future of bliss. 

Unfortunately, I've seen my clients end up stuck in the past and brainwashed by their own toxic thoughts which is extremely problematic.

Is dwelling on the past a sign of depression?

We live in three dimensions all day long. We live in our past by way of our thoughts, we live in the future worrying about what will be and we live in the now moment as you're reading this article. 

This is your conscious mind reading but most of the day, when we're struggling with dwelling on the past, we're not only unable to enjoy our life but we're being controlled by our subconscious mind and the routines and habits of our thoughts. 

Is dwelling on the past a sign of depression,  Stop Dwelling On The Past

Unfortunately what we're doing is creating a habit of thinking which causes negativity, sometimes sadness, regret, hurt, and anger. Soon, the negativity becomes just who we are. 

When you're constantly practicing any of these feelings of hurt, anger or regret, it ultimately affects your nervous system which has been known to cause us to be depressed and stressed as I talk about in this article.

Try this...

What To Do When Depressed And Stressed

Why can't I stop dwelling on the past?


This is such an important question one that's been hinted at already. You can't seem to move on because you haven't let go. You haven't made peace with the old situation and you've created a habit of constantly thinking of the past.


You've likely, hard-wired your brain to do this. This is what we humans do. We brainwash ourselves and it's really quite easy to do. 


Once you practice a thought, a lot like a mantra or an affirmation, you memorize it, and then it becomes part of you. 


A lot of people say that positive thinking doesn't work but I challenge you to think a negative thought every-single-day, several times a day and see if you start believing it. 

The Steps: Letting go of what you can't control and how to stop dwelling on past

It feels scary to change. This is your privative mind telling you lies. your brain wants to seek homeostasis which simply means, staying the same. It's just hard for your body to change. The whole idea causes your nervous system to overload. Here are the steps you'll need to take to embrace letting go of what you can't control and stop dwelling on the past.

The Steps

  • Decide and declare you've had enough of the self-sabotage and you'll move beyond the negative past rumination of thoughts.
  • Learn to attach imagery to your thought when it crops up. You can write your thought down and burn it in a sink or you can imagine dropping the thought on a leaf and watching it drift away in a stream. You can't read two chapters in a book at the same time. Use your imagination to turn the page and close the chapter.
  • Train your brain to think a new thought. When you catch yourself thinking the thought, tell yourself to; "stop". Let's come up with a new thought. As I spoke of before, what we tell ourselves, we believe if we say it enough. This is true with negative statements or positive statements. Answer this: What thought would I rather have about the past? Example: I'd rather think that it's over and I'm creating a new future. This thought feels so much better than old thoughts of I'm not enough.
  • Let go physically. Remember, your nervous system has gotten involved and you may feel stress, anger, and anxious. To let go of the past and move on through physical practice, begin to use breathwork and meditation

Ruminating over the past mistakes is one of the biggest challenges that my clients experience and the process is all about changing the thoughts and feelings that we have. It's truly regaining control over life and beginning to see ourselves in a different light that creates the biggest change.

stop selling on the past, get control over your life

The Steps To Stop Dwelling On The Past: Move on from past mistakes

You wouldn't be reading this article if you were denying that it's affecting you negatively. Moving on from our past mistakes takes a lot of inner strength and courage. You'll want to practice acceptance, and grace for yourself. What we do instead is practice being a bully to ourselves. Moving on from past mistakes is all about recognizing that mistakes and failures are normal. You wouldn't beat up your sister or your child for making a mistake, so stop holding on to these mistakes and forgive yourself.

stop dwelling on the past, Move on from past mistakes

What to do if you think, "I can't move on from the past"

Here are some journal questions to help you.

First, write down what happened. Describe in detail as much as possible.

When did this happen? (Today, yesterday, one month ago, a year or longer ago)

Did it make you sad, scared, angry, unsafe, or worried for example?

How often did this happen? (Once or a few times)

How stressful was this? (Not very, a little stress, or very stressful)

How much change did this cause?

How do you feel now? (I can handle it, I need some help)

What kind of help would you like?

What is the EXACT thought you're ruminating about?

What feeling does it give you?

What is a better feeling that you'd like to have?

What thought do you have to have to experience this feeling?

Stop feeling guilty about the past

If you feel guilty about the past or ashamed about what you may have done or not done-perhaps unintentionally hurting someone as an example, realize that you're just human.  


Guilt and shame over our actual or perceived transgressions are normal human emotions that can help us learn, grow, and, through forgiveness, deepen our relationships. Guilt and shame can serve to remind us of our flaws, our vulnerabilities, and make us humble, which can be a wonderful thing to know—that we are imperfect.


Guilt can also be a motivator—if I messed up this time, maybe I can do better next time.

John Bradshaw, an author, counselor, and motivational speaker, said that guilt leads us to think, “I made a mistake,” but shame often leads us to think, “I am a mistake.” Guilt says “What I did was bad,” whereas shame says “I am bad.”


Questions you may want to consider are:


What could I have done differently in that situation? What did I learn from it?


Have I apologized if I have hurt another person? Why or why not?


What do I need to do to have closure about this situation for myself and/or with the other person(s)?


What do I need to do or say to be able to forgive myself?

Ultimately, our results are up to us. When we CONTINUE to be our own worst bully and ruminate ugly words over and over, we're setting ourselves up for more of the same. 

Imagine a future where you change nothing, what will your life be like in five years? How about 10 years? If you continue thinking this same thought and have the same feelings which make you feel bad, sad, anxious, shameful or guilty, THIS is exactly who you'll be. 

I know this is harsh but you've got to take control of your life NOW! As you're dwelling on the past, you've LOST control of your life.


Take some time to do the inner work to drastically change your life! 

Sharon Lee - Your online life coach

Are you ready for your FREE Discovery Call?

About The Author: Sharon Lee

Career | Wellness | Business | Relationship

It's my life’s purpose to help you identify, clarify and realize your dreams. To help you create new goals and dreams and keep you accountable in the process.

The great thing about Life Coaching is it’s all about collaboration. I show up and meet you right where you are in life providing you with the tools and support.  My clients say it's life changing and I'm honored to share in the journey with you.


Come open yourself up to the possibilities.

My dream is to show you how you can have it ALL - a thriving life and business built on your soul-aligned purpose, designed around your LIFE instead of the other way around, leaving you with time and money for everything that matters to you.

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