When stressed or sad it is easy to start thinking about the past like it was so much better or easier. Many times when we are going through a difficult time, we look at the past with rose-colored glasses, which leads us to feel more depressed or frustrated. Maybe this is the most difficult situation in your life. This, however, is not likely. Unless your current situation is a crisis, such as an illness or death, you are likely overrating the stress of the present and underrating the negatives of the past.

There is a lot of research to suggest that many of our memories are not entirely accurate. That sounds scary, and I do not say that to scare you away from reading this. I just say it to so that you keep in mind that if you took a time machine into the past, some of the positives that you remember would have taken place as you remember them, but the stressors were likely just as significant as they are today.

When we think about the past, I think that it is much more effective to look at it all as experience. Use your memories as a guide to help you handle your current situation. I say this risking losing credibility after saying that many of your memories may not have happened as you remember them. Regardless of how accurate they are or aren’t, the lessons you learned will stay with you for most of your life. The lessons, if used in a rational way are more significant than an idealized idea of actual events that took place.

If you were able to handle difficult situations in the past, it is likely that you will be able to handle the situation you are experiencing today. If you used to have more friends, then you have the ability to build new connections with people today. If it used to be easier to take chances, it could be because you did not follow your gut and make rational decisions like you do more often now that you are older. The real issue is what did you learn from all of this? Remember what lessons you learned from situations such as these, and you are more likely to overcome the problems of today with less stress and sadness than you otherwise would have experienced without utilizing this knowledge. Then you take yourself out of the role of being a victim of today and end up taking control of your life.

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