You can't live a joyful life until you learn to let go of your past. Whether you have gone through a break-up, lost a loved one to death, had a feud with friend or family, or have lost a job, you must learn to move on and let go. Life can be rewarding and joyful again.
Avoid making your situation even worse...
1. Don't spend a lot of time or energy mourning what has happened. Let a broken romance or friendship go. Learn from losing a job. Even when you have lost someone to death, take enough time to mourn, and then move on with your own life.
2. Don't over-react to your loss by taking any sudden actions without enough time for careful consideration. If you feel very lonely or frightened, don't act based on those emotions. Seek immediate support, and don't make significant commitments until after you have recovered a sense of being centered and confident.
3. Don't spend much time alone. You may feel the urge to avoid interacting with your friends and family, but it is critical that you maintain your social contacts. Don't lose the friendships and support network you have built. If you find yourself becoming isolated from previous contacts, focus energy on building new (non-romantic) friendships. Although these new friendships may eventually provide the path to a new job, new love interest, or a new best friend, don't be in a hurry, and don't take advantage of your new acquaintances. Let your new casual relationships remain casual, and friendly.
4. Don't complain about what you have gone through, and avoid listening to your friends' complaints. Focus your thoughts on positive subjects. Don't spoil your day complaining about a backstabbing ex-friend, ex-lover, or ex-boss. Put your energy on building a bright future.
Try these tips for letting go and moving on ...
1. Keep busy. Occupy your time with enjoyable activities - especially group activities. Spend time with those groups and activities you used to enjoy, and add new activities. Focus on groups and activities that include members of both genders, but are not dating related. Try to find activities that have a physical element. Try a book discussion group, a church or community committee, yoga, Qigong, hiking, biking, cooking classes, wine tasting ... take classes on any subject. Avoid limiting yourself. Occupy your time with a variety of activities -- both old and new.
2. Keep the conversations with your friends and family positive. Don't talk about your loss. Make sure the conversations are positive and focused on the future. Distance yourself from acquaintances who persist in bringing up your loss or being negative.
3. Volunteer to be of service to those less fortunate than yourself. Get over feeling sorry for yourself by volunteering at the Red Cross blood bank, the local hospital, the library, your church... There is no limit to the possibilities -- just do it. In addition, service organizations are great places to make professional contacts, develop friendships, or meet your soul-mate.
4. Get inspirational support daily... read an inspirational book or quotations, meditate, do yoga or Qigong, perhaps light a candle and contemplate positive thoughts, or begin the habit of daily journaling.
5. If you have lost your job, avoid beginning your search for a new job or career until you have placed yourself in a good frame of mind by following the previous suggestions. Your job search will be much more successful if you are feeling positive and brave - and you will be living more joyfully. Be creative and persistent in a job search, but never allow desperation to take control of your life.
Be patient, think positive, and you will soon have overcome your sadness and anger and be moving forward with your new life.
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Jonathan Lockwood Huie, "The Philosopher of Happiness," is author of 100 Secrets for Living a Life You Love and co-author of Simply An Inspired Life.
** May your own thoughts be gentle upon yourself - Jonathan Lockwood Huie **