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Living in the past is hazardous to health

Our minds are designed in a strange manner. Things we most wish to remember are often the ones we easily forget, while things we desperately wish to erase from our memory keep coming back time and again to haunt our very being.

This could seem like a joke but if one considers, exams take a toll over people simply because all that information is so hard to ‘remember’. While you put in days of toil and effort to memorize it, some part of it or the other gets magically wiped off your memory when most needed. Likewise, some of the most essential tasks in your to-do list often slip from your mind, resurfacing only later when it is too late to do them.

On the other hand events like a bad experience on a shopping spree, or a feud with a friend, or memories of events of the past that make you nostalgically want to relive those moments, keep coming back to you even as you want them to stay away from your active memory with all your might. In other words, the more you fight them, the harder they hit you back.

Good memories can be cherished, even if they cannot be relived which is painful enough in itself. But the ones that are bad, or hurtful give you pain all the more as they pass your thoughts.

Within a lifestyle that asks for a lot more effort than possible to keep peace of mind, we often tend to keep looking back at memories sometimes for validation, sometimes regretting mistakes made, and more often than not due to an inability to move on from the past whether good or bad.

Moving on from a break up, or the demise of a loved one, mostly take a lot of time to come by. Even though the idea that life goes on despite all kinds of setbacks, is true, more often than not the process through which the entire journey of moving on happens, is excruciatingly painful. But what makes it all the more painful is the habit of looking back at the past, in order to relive what was, and that which is not there in the present.

We keep clinging to the memories of the past, thinking about old memories over and over again, thinking of what we could have done to make the situation right, trying to live those moments again and feel the same way again. But as soon as the realization that that period is over dawns, life comes to a standstill and what we’re left with is tears. While it is perfectly fine to get nostalgic once in a while, but constantly trying to dwell in what was isn’t a good sign. Things that have gone wrong in the past cannot be redressed in the present, so thinking about them only puts the future in danger. And nostalgia is bittersweet. Which means, that while it makes you relive a moment of your life, it also gives you a sense of agony, so torturing yourself with that agony for long periods of time isn’t the right thing to do. Living in the past breaks you more, emotionally and psychologically, than the event that went wrong itself. The best thing to do is to learn from the mistakes you’ve made and try and not make them again, while embracing what is there in the present and all the good that is to come. What’s gone is gone, and one should let go for the good.

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