By Nick Smith, LPC

No power in society, no hardship in your condition can depress you, keep you down, in knowledge, power, virtue, influence, but by your own consent.
- William Ellery Channing

We have all experienced hardships, troubled times, traumatic situations and heartache. Even though everyone on the planet experiences difficult situations, we still manage to say, “I am alone in my pain, no one could ever understand what I am going through.” Isolating ourselves because of our pain and sorrows can cause us to limp through life for many years before the “time heals all wounds” rule kicks in.

If you have been weighed down by troubling emotions and resentments, talk to someone; a friend, pastor, counselor, sibling or any other loving person in your life about those experiences that are keeping you from living to your fullest potential. Let those people know the extent to which this event affects your day-to-day life.

Suggestions on how to let go of the past and start living in the present:

  1. Develop hobbies. Thinking about this negative event or life circumstance has slowly become your hobby, take up a new hobby.
  2. Incorporate self-esteem boosters into your day-to-day life. Exercise and eating healthy are a great start. Make small challenges for yourself to easily complete each day.
  3. Re-establish who you are. Traumatic events can try to dictate our beliefs about who we are. Examine your morals and values and then stick to them. This is a good way to come back to your baseline.
  4. Start right now! Many times we put things off until we have more time or resources. For example, you don’t need to wait until the next paycheck to purchase a gym membership; you can do some push-ups in your living room. Everyone who has ever lived, from da Vinci to Mozart, has been given the same 24 hours to create their masterpieces; the time to start yours is now!