I believe that we think about the past because it’s easier to think about, as we have already experienced it so it is easier to relive. In my personal experience, I used to think about the bad things more than the good, because those were the aspects that generated the most emotional feeling as emotion is very powerful, and is linked to the cognitive part of the brain associated with memory. It was difficult for me to look towards the future because I had not arrived there yet (never will), so it was harder to think of the unknown. For me, what made it even more difficult was that I felt like I didn’t have a solid future plan of what I wanted, or where I wanted to be, so I would constantly relive my past for clarification of what I had done or what had happened to me in order to mould my plans.
I soon realised that this did not work. Going back to my past just made me more depressed than I was already feeling…
This is the reason why it is important to plan for your the future, so you know what you are going to do next, and what you are striving for. This in turn, will generate how you will feel as you will be excited about what is to come in your life.
ALSO.. It is also so so soooooo important to L I V E I N T H E P R E S E N T! This means whatever you are doing now, just be there in that moment, embrace and assimilate it. Being fully engaged with what you are doing at that present time will generate feelings that will be ingrained in your memory. As experiences are the backbone for emotions and feelings, remaining present with what you are doing can generate the feelings that replace your old negative past experiences. Eventually, you will find that you remember your past in terms of the positive experiences and good vibrations (since it is a powerful force and generates your memories). These feelings will then start to generate your behaviour and your well being, tada!
You do have to go back into your past and find out what is bothering you. Yes, this is true as you definitely need to find out what is bothering you, holding you back, or making you feel the way you do. However, on the flip side, you should NEVER base your negative past experiences on your future plan. For me, I have gone over that hurdle and I don’t want to look back at the past ever. I want to generate positive feelings towards my future and that needs a plan and staying in the present.
I’ve always wondered why we think about negative things more than positive… I personally think that with the changing world, negative emotion is a more powerful emotion than positive. That’s why people take pictures of when they’re happy to look back on, so they remember the good times. No one really takes pictures of when they are sad. We are programmed by things around us to be and stay negative so that it sticks in our mind and aids us in staying that way. We are not born negative.
This is why you need a plan and stay in the present so you will always be happy in mind; because your mind is your central control system. Once you have an external plan as it were (i.e. the future and the present), you can work on the inside to start to follow that goal. I know it will be hard, but once it is mastered there is no stopping you. You need to have a small plan and stick to it.