Fight nostalgia with bad memories
Conjure up an unpleasant or humiliating moment from the past (childhood offers tons of raw material for that!). Or, think of a time when you were generally bored and dissatisfied with your life.
Then you’ll be grateful to be where you are now instead of wishing a time machine would transport you to the past!
Of course, bad memories can also bring us down. The key, then, is to keep in mind that both the good and the bad are integral parts of our life story.
Storie are just that—stories. They can inspire or entertain you, but they have no control over your reality.
Now you’re just in a different chapter, which is exciting in a way—you have no idea what it will bring!
2) Recognize that the “good times” are always mixed in with the bad
When I recall those exceptionally euphoric memories, I realize that they always came on the tail end of memories that were unexceptional or even terrible. In fact, it’s that contrast that creates the euphoria in the first place.
Think about it: when people ecstatically throw their arms in the air after running a marathon, that emotion is generated by the fact that the process itself (the training as well as the actual running of the marathon) was grueling and painful.
When you look at it that way, you’ll recognize that there could be another amazing moment just on the horizon!
3) Create a formula for how to recapture that memory
While obviously you can’t recreate the memory (although there’s about that concept!), you can pinpoint what elements made it so great.
For instance, you may be nostalgic for those fun, carefree times with friends before you were bogged down with family and work responsibilities.
Make it a point, then, to schedule a weekly get-together with friends. If you can’t leave the house, then maybe you can invite them over for dinner or appetizers.
It’s all too easy to lose touch with friends in adulthood, but it’s never too late to reconnect. Even if you haven’t reached out to them in years, they’d probably be thrilled to hear from you!
Like you, your friends are mostly likely also overburdened with responsibilities and have been “too busy” to call. It’s up to you, then, to make the first step.
4) Forget the past and focus on the now
Most of us want to forget the painful memories, and for good reason. These memories can cause trauma and negatively impact our career and relationships.
But the wonderful memories can be just as counterproductive. When we cling to them so intensely, it prevents us from moving forward.
In this case, it’s best to erase them from your current state of mind. First, picture the memory clearly in your mind—the colors, smells, precise location.
Next, imagine this picture dissolving into a puff of air. Keep doing this until it is completely gone.
Now, it can be difficult to conjure up the will to let go. Most of us don’t want to forget these memories in the same way we don’t want to wake up from a good dream!
But if the past’s grip on you is so strong that it impairs your ability to enjoy the present or look forward to the future, it’s time to move on.
Instead of being stuck in nostalgia mode, you can reward yourself by soaking in the present. Take time to observe the things around you—a flower on the side of the road, the lamp on your desk, an interesting thrift store you’d never noticed before. It’s amazing what we pick up on when we’re not lost in daydreams or dwelling on our problems!
Visualizing the future can also be a powerful tool. Imagine your dream home, relationships, and career unfolding before your eyes as if it were happening right now. This is a powerful tool for manifesting your goals, which you can read about in more detail