What man can you show me who places any value on his time, who reckons the worth of each day, who understands that he is dying daily? For we are mistaken when we look forward to death; the major portion of death has already passed. Whatever years lie behind us are in death’s hands. Therefore, Lucilius, do as you write me that you are doing: hold every hour in your grasp. Lay hold of to-day’s task, and you will not need to depend so much upon to-morrow’s. While we are postponing, life speeds by. 3. Nothing, Lucilius, is ours, except time. We were entrusted by nature with the ownership of this single thing, so fleeting and slippery that anyone who will can oust us from possession. What fools these mortals be! They allow the cheapest and most useless things, which can easily be replaced, to be charged in the reckoning, after they have acquired them; but they never regard themselves as in debt when they have received some of that precious commodity, – time! And yet time is the one loan which even a grateful recipient cannot repay. Seneca, Moral Letters 1.2-3
So many people understand the fact that living in past events, mistakes and failures are not healthy at all. The past can hold you back in life, hurt your present, and end up ruining your future. We all know that the past can’t go away but yet we can’t stop worrying about it. It is only natural that one should be anxious about the kind of things that happened in the past.
In some cases, living in the past is regarded vital, but if one spends about one to two hours reminiscing on the past, it becomes an unmistakable sign you need to change your attitude towards your past life and start living in the present. Living in the past is not a good thing at all; it becomes a huge problem when the feeling becomes overwhelming because it robs you of the opportunity to enjoy and have fun in the present. Living in the past isn’t advisable even if you are not happy where you are; it only allows you to avoid dealing with issues that are in the present.
In our research, we discovered three different ways one could be living in the past, we have;
- Negative nostalgia and
- The fact that the past cannot be changed or uttered.
To feel bitterness is natural for human beings, we all have felt resentment one way or the other, but we must know about this feeling is that it only hurts us. Resentment festers within us like a poisoned arrow to the heart. It causes us more pain than whatever it was that made us feel resentment initially.
We all are responsible for our happiness and have the right to be happy. However, to be satisfied is only but a personal decision. Each person decides if they want a life filled with happiness or with negative feelings like resentment, or if he or she is willing to relinquish those negative feelings which turn us into what we dread enveloped in unhealthy layers of thoughts that prevent us from seeing what is inside and what’s going on.
Resentment can be useful to the body if only it is felt in small and reasonable doses; for example, resentment can prevent us from trusting a lousy fellow who has betrayed us before. But if we make resentment our one-stop ally and let it control our personality, we only create a problem for ourselves and most at times this problem has a complex solution. Whenever we feel resentment, the first advisable thing we do is to confront it sensibly and think of it as an opponent because it is not our friend.
People faced with resentment can be noticed easily because they tend to exhibit some of the following characteristics that sell them out as resentful people:
- Their primary emotion is most often rage due to the pain they feel and think about but cannot express it.
- They don’t see any reason to talk to the person who might have caused them to handle such resentment.
- Whenever they intend to speak to the person who might have caused them to become resentful, they only do so harshly or rudely.
- They don’t make any eye contact what so ever with the one who made the feel resentful
- They will automatically disregard any ideas or suggestions made to them by those who caused them to be resentful even though they are aware deep down that the concept is a good one. In this way, they are willing to pay the price for not adhering to the opinion or advice that was suggested by the other person just so that they don’t justify that the other person was right.
Physically, resentment causes emotional pain, which in turn causes blood pressure and heart rate to shoot-up, producing stress and anxiety that can’t be handled by the body. Stress and anxiety come in with other symptoms like faint feeling, muscular tension, and a drowning sensation among a host of others.
Resentment can be fought and be put to an abrupt end by following the following steps:
- First, you have to be aware of the fact that you feel resentment, if we don’t admit that we have a problem, then it will be complicated for us to overcome such a problem.
- Afterward, learn to express your emotions and talk about what disturbs you inside with those people who caused us resentment.
- Then, learn to forgive, we all make mistakes, and it’s only wise if we take notice of this. We all must learn to be more lenient and understanding with others and especially with ourselves.
- Lastly, learn to think positively, if we change our thinking then our whole body changes as well, we begin to see things differently, it will become evident in our mind and health if we take things calmly and begin to worry less about everything going on in our lives.
Nostalgia may be the closest thing to time travel; we can visit our past lives through nostalgic effects or memories. Experiencing this state of mind puts one at ease and in most cases may feel like you are at home. Nostalgia maybe bittersweet, longing to be back at a particular place in a specific time that used to be enjoyable and considerably satisfying.
Nostalgia usually seems to be one way by which people tend to cope with various negative mental states or in most cases, psychological threats. Nostalgia can be the feeling of loneliness, feeling of failure, or you may feel like you don’t know if your life has any purpose or what you might be doing has no meaning or has no value. We see nostalgic memories as a psychological resource that people can dip into to comfort or reconcile with the evidence that they need to assure themselves that they are valued in whatever project they may be in to.
Most people are put into nostalgic memories through music. They may be a handful of songs that are identified with specific times in life, and whenever these songs come into play, they help tune your mind back to those memories. For some, it can be a smell, or a movie or a particular environment of smell.
There are many ways one can overcome these nostalgic effects or memories as they come;
- Look at old photographs: this idea will be beneficial for people who can be easily put to nostalgia by pictures, you can take a sneak peep at your old photos. You may have stored up some old time memory pictures that you might decide to use in this case, or if they are not available, you can search for some of the saved up photos on either Facebook or Instagram.
- Read a book: when pondering on the past relaxing can go a long way in helping suffice the feeling of nostalgia. Try finding a naturally lit spot in your home and go through maybe your favorite novel or scroll. Most people usually read a book that contains in its much relatable story to theirs.
- Sip some coffee or tea: while sipping that book, you may decide to go through it with either a cup of coffee or a cup of tea. Certain aromas can remind us of the past like the smell of unique varieties of coffee beans or different herbs.
- Take a long drive: sometimes driving down on familiar roads help to kick back some beautiful memories of the past that usually may seem or feel comfortable. This feeling can be increased with some added nostalgic music being played from the music player.
Past cannot be changed:
Our past lives may have been categorized by so many harsh events, we may tend not to forget their recent doings. Living in the past can be a positive nostalgic effect if the memories are of great and welcoming actions, but the reverse is the case if the events in the past life are not welcoming. People may be living in the past because they feel they can change the happenings there but as sad as this may sound, the past life and incident cannot be changed because they make who you are. The present and future are up to you to determine the outcome; the past is gone and cannot be changed.
One can change their presence if the past seems to be sinking in little by little. The presence works as you want it to with your permission. Feel free to encourage yourself to challenge not only your assumptions of yourself and your past. Often time’s people feel powerless to defeat the past, but they don’t know that they can actually overpower the feelings of negative nostalgia by first of all overcome the fear of failure and rejection then you will be fully prepared to face the consequences or effects that may arise from you defeating and keeping the past where it should be.