How to Forget Your Past & Be Happy

Dynamic Graphics/Creatas/Getty Images

Forgetting a relationship in your past is a difficult thing to do, but it's necessary if you want the freedom that comes with living in the moment. Even though your ex was most probably a huge part of your life, he or she no longer is. Thus, every second you spend thinking about your ex is a second you could be thinking about someone or something uplifting and inspiring in the present. Furthermore, focusing on an old relationship will limit you from enjoying any potential new relationships. It is possible to be happy without your ex, and there are several ways you can truly let go and get over that relationship.

Take Care of Your Spirit

Taking care of your spirit will refresh you and give you a new perspective on your life, as well as the relationship you lost. According to Dr. Kelly McGonigal, stress is the No. 1 trigger for an addiction, and the stress of your breakup may put you at risk. But if you take steps to ease your stress, such as by taking a long walk or enjoying a hot bath, you will feel more confident and resilient, and be better at brushing away hurtful thoughts about your past.

Focus on Reality

Focusing on reality is vital when it comes to moving beyond your past, because it frees you from being a slave to false memories of happiness. If you look back on your relationship with a certain false nostalgia, you are hurting yourself more by convincing yourself you lost more than you really did. Instead, focus on the real reasons your relationship did not work out, and then be objective about what your ex did that really bothered you.

Consider the Possibilities

According to Dr. Phil, closure regarding past experiences is necessary in order to start a new relationship with a good chance of success. Looking ahead toward the possibility of a new and more healthy bond will help inspire you to let go of a relationship that was clearly not working. However, do not attempt to start dating someone new just to forget your ex, as doing so will likely result in rebound dating, which will only postpone your pain. Instead, focus on gaining closure and perspective on the past relationship before starting anew.

Look Up to Someone Strong

Dr. Kelly McGonigal states that we can gain willpower from the example of people we look up to, and when it comes to getting over our past, this is especially true. Everyone has had their heart broken at some point, and focusing on someone you admire who reacted positively to a breakup will help your recovery process. Concentrate on how that person is doing a great job at being independent and enjoying the present moment. Such thoughts will energize you, give you strength and inspire you to overcome your past.