If you find yourself lying awake in bed at 2 a.m. replaying events that happened weeks, months, or years ago, this one may resonate with you. And you know that with each replay, your feelings of stuckness and resentment grows.

Sometimes, you find yourself fixating so much on the past that you’ve allowed it to define everything you do. For instance, if your heart was broken in a past relationship, you may have consciously decided to let people in only so far, even someone you may have grown to love deeply.

What to do instead: To address this problem try meditation (give yourself 10-20 minutes):

  • Begin noticing your breath and allow yourself to relax for a few minutes.
  • Notice all the feelings that are arising within you as you relax, welcoming both pleasant and unpleasant sensations.
  • Once you’ve reached a state of deeper relaxation, bring to mind the scene you have been replaying over and over.
  • As you replay the scene, imagine an ending you would have preferred. For instance, if you regret reacting in anger to an offensive remark, imagine yourself responding to the person and yourself with compassion.
  • Imagine yourself in a future encounter with the person or another person. Imagine yourself responding to similar situation with greater compassion.
  • Rest in these images before slowly bringing yourself out of meditation by gently bringing your awareness back to your body in this space and time.

Resolve to begin practicing this in your everyday life. Choose to be responsive rather than reactive going forward.

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