Stuck in the Past? Here’s How It Drains Your Happiness

Are you stuck in the past? Do you often find yourself time-traveling to your past, ruminating about all the negative things that have happened?

Many people are stuck in the past, dwelling on the misfortunes that have happened and wishing things could have turned out differently. The longer you stay in the rabbit hole of your past, the harder it becomes to get out.

Here’s how living in the past eats away at your happiness.

Are You Living in the Past?

When you think about hardships you’ve experienced in the past or bad things that could happen in the future, you’re focused on negative things and therefore emit negative energy. This goes back to the Law of Attraction—when you’re visualizing the bad things that have happened or could happen, you are essentially manifesting them back into your life.

Further, when you do this, you’re either stuck in the past or the future rather than the present moment. As we discussed, King explains that living in the present moment is one of the keys to achieving a state of perpetual positivity.

Object Consciousness Prevents Humans From Living in the Present

In A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle agrees with King that humans emit negative energy because rather than living in the present, we’re constantly focused on the past or future. He adds that humans are unable to live in the present moment because the ego traps us in a state called “object consciousness” where we’re only able to experience the present moment in one of three ways:

  1. As a bridge to a future moment: This is when the only value of the present moment is to reach something better in the future. This makes us feel bored and discontent.
  2. As a barrier or obligation: This is when we actively dislike what we’re doing but feel we have to do it to get what we want in the future. This makes us feel impatient, frustrated, and stressed.
  3. As an antagonist: This is when we see the present moment as an enemy and is characterized by the thought that “Nothing good ever happens to me” or “I’m perpetually unlucky.” This makes us constantly feel angry, resentful, and grouchy.

And, like King, Tolle suggests that we overcome object consciousness by living in a state of non-attachment, nonjudgment, and nonresistance—when we simply accept that everything happens for a reason and that nothing is good or bad or permanent. When we do this, we will be able to live in the present moment without feeling negative emotions and emitting bad vibes.

Stuck in the Past? Here’s How It Drains Your Happiness

Darya Sinusoid

Darya’s love for reading started with fantasy novels (The LOTR trilogy is still her all-time-favorite). Growing up, however, she found herself transitioning to non-fiction, psychological, and self-help books. She has a degree in Psychology and a deep passion for the subject. She likes reading research-informed books that distill the workings of the human brain/mind/consciousness and thinking of ways to apply the insights to her own life. Some of her favorites include Thinking, Fast and Slow, How We Decide, and The Wisdom of the Enneagram.

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