My past haunts me every day (+How to let go)

This article will discuss why people can be haunted about their past, and what emotions and sensations can be caused by it. Along with that, the article will discuss what ways people can let go of their past and cope with what has been.

Why is your past haunting you?

There are many reasons why your past might be haunting you every day. It might be that you went through something that harmed you. It could be a trauma or a mistake that caused you to keep thinking about it. 

If that is the case, it might be that if you don’t deal with what happened, the past will come to haunt you every day. Dealing with it means understanding what happened and why you can let it go. If not, with time the past can occupy a huge space in your life. 

It can take away your focus from things that are going on in the present. and not allow you to live fully aware of what is going on in your life in the present. So let’s discuss how you can deal with your past that is haunting you every day.

How can I deal with my past?

Letting go of what has been haunting you is a process. Here are some ways that can help you let go of it, focus on what has changed since, and what can be done in the future.

Let go of what reminds you of what happened 

If your past is haunting you there might be things that are triggering you to remember about what happened in the past. It can be a picture, a message, or even something online, like a social network profile. 

For example, if the thing in your past that has been haunting you is a breakup, in which you think you should have acted differently, having pictures, messages, or going through their social network will most likely trigger your thoughts. 

Make your peace with your past 

Once you let go of the things that are triggering your memory, it might be time to let go of it. Take a look at what has been, understand that the past can’t be undone or changed. Understand that you back then, did the best you could with what you had. And what is possible now, is to not let this event define your life.

Focus on positive things

Try to find things from your present that you can put your energy in. You can turn what was left from your past into a new thing. Transform it from regret into something better. This can happen through art, such as painting or writing. You might also want to invest your energy in other things, maybe a new hobby.

Take a look at your present 

This is something easier said than done. But you should try to focus all of your senses on what is going on at the present. Mindfulness might be something to help you practice that. It will help you become more aware of yourself and your surroundings. 

Understand that it is impossible to change the past, but what you can change is how you react to it, and what you do about it in the present. You can, for example, try to apologize for what has happened in the past. And even if that doesn’t seem important to the other person, it might be for you, so you can let it go.

Notice what has changed in you since 

Take a look at yourself and see how much you have changed since. You get older, maybe you are more mature, and have a new outlook on things as you did before. 

Try to take some of this maturity to let go of it, and understand that you did the best you could. This will allow you to see how much you have grown from your mistakes.

Allow yourself new experiences 

To let go of the past, you need to allow yourself to live new experiences. Going through happy experiences will let you see that your life wasn’t defined by what happened. There are still good things coming your way if you allow them to.

Accept your mistakes and learn from them 

Everyone makes mistakes. It usually is from what people learn from. If you had never gone through that, you probably wouldn’t know what you know now. And if you learn from it, it might be a relief to see that your past meant something, that it gave you more knowledge.

Give it time

Time is the best thing when dealing with what is hurting. So allow yourself some time to feel the pain, and in time you can recover from your past that has been haunting you. This can also teach you how some things are out of your control, and how you can let go of them.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Why does my past haunt me every day?

Can my past come back to haunt me?

Yes, your past may come back to haunt you. And not only by memory or overthinking it. Actions you had upon your past can come back to haunt you in the worst way, and in the worst time.

For example, if you have a history in your life of relationships with abusive partners, if you don’t deal with that pattern, it can keep repeating itself over and over again. It might only stop if you look at your past experiences, deal with them, and learn new ways to form a relationship with people that won’t be abusive.

What are ruminations?

Rumination is what happens when your head is filled with a single thought, which is usually a negative one, and it keeps repeating itself. It is something that can be dangerous to your mental health, causing depression to be worse. 

Ruminating can cause you to isolate yourself, and make it harder for you to process your emotions. A person can start to ruminate about something because they believe that through it you will learn new things or get a new insight about the situation. It is because you are facing something that you can’t control.

Some personality traits can make the person more prone to rumination. If they are more perfectionists, or too focused they may ruminate more. When. That is happening to you, try to find a distraction, or find ways to handle the problem you have been thinking about. 

How can I forgive myself?

Forgiving yourself is a process. If you have gone through mistakes that are causing you to judge yourself, it might be important to learn how to forgive yourself. The first thing is to talk about it. It can be in therapy or with friends, but putting it out will give you a sense of release.

Don’t fool yourself that this will pass if you don’t address it. Denial will only make things worse. If it seems hard for you to talk about it, maybe writing will help you to take a better look at this. And when you manage to take a look at the whole picture, try to accept this as they are. 

Let go of your guilt, you don’t need to justify your actions to anyone. You just need to accept that you did the best you could with what you had back then. Choose to forgive yourself a little more every day.

If you’re facing this, it may be a good idea to seek the help of a therapist or other mental health professional. You can find a therapist at BetterHelp who can help you learn how to cope and address it.

What can I change in my life to not ruminate so much?

To stop ruminating so much you might need to make some lifestyle changes. The first thing to do is to become more active when dealing with your troubles. Don’t let thinking about them take over your life, take action and try to solve them as fast as you can.

Try to improve the view you have of yourself. Ruminations will take over if you start to question yourself too much. If you work on your self-esteem, you will be able to forgive yourself easier for your mistakes.

Having a support system where you can share what you are thinking is important. They will question your thought process and try to show you what could be part of your overthinking the situation, or what is part of the situation that you need to take care of. Having people close will also be a great source of distraction.

Can being haunted by my past cause me to get depressed?

Yes, if you don’t deal with your past, and it keeps haunting you, you can get depressed. Unresolved feelings can cause you to overthink, and at times even become more anxious.

If you never address those feelings and discover where they come from, they might be bottled up, and at some point, they might come out the easiest way. That is why processing your emotions and your past experiences are so important. 

How can I handle regret?

Regret is a tricky emotion, and it can be hard to handle. You can regret what you have done, and the things you haven’t done. It might be something recent, or it could be a past happening that is still haunting you.  If you want to not have regrets in the long term, try to be open to what people are saying. 

When you have regrets, you tend to fill in the blanks of the situations with negative thoughts. Listen to others so as not to keep all the negative thoughts in your mind. And deal with what you are unable to control.

Try to keep your goals in life more abstract than concrete.  Like you want to have a life experience, over having a new house. This will allow you to enjoy more of the process and make you regret less than when you achieve your concrete goal. 

Which will ask too much of your time and effort and might leave you asking why you did that. To not experience regret, you might also want to be more proactive about things. 

Take more action directed to what you want. The worst form of regret is of things you didn’t allow yourself to do. Because if you do it, and you didn’t get the outcome you expected, at least you tried it. This is a win-win situation. You might get what you wanted, or even if you don’t you will always know you tried.


This article explained why people might be ruminating about their past. Along with that, it also discussed what effects this can have on people, and how people can cope with it.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write it in the section below. 


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