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Ask Dr. Zoe – How Do I Leave the Past Behind?

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‘Leaving the Past Behind’ Asked:

Last year was emotionally draining and I’m afraid I will “carry all the stress, anxiety and tension” into this year. Is there anything I can do to leave the past behind me and start fresh?

Dr. Zoe Answered:

Whenever someone says to me that they are worried, fearful or unsure about what they will choose to do in the future, I always stop them mid-sentence. I don’t even want to hear the rest—so stop!

You are the only person in this world that controls you. You can hope and worry and wonder about everyone else’s behavior in this world except your own. You get to choose your own thoughts, behaviors, actions and ultimately your life.

When you say that you are afraid you may do something or that you hope you won’t, you are saying that you have no control over yourself. This is simply not true. You can start fresh, by stopping the lies.

Starting today, begin a ritual of leaving 2019 exactly where it belongs—in the past. 2020 is just another day—another year, so unless you actively choose to do something different, you will for sure carry everything you have been carrying up to this point—and some more. You don’t have to do that. You can choose differently.

Make an active decision that this year will be different.

Ask yourself these questions:

1. Are the stressors from 2019 still a part of my life? If so, then you have two choices—figure out how to get rid of the stress or create a different story about it and change the way you react to it.

2. What can I do to alleviate the stress? Develop healthy lifestyle choices that allow you to better tolerate stress that you cannot get rid of (meditation, exercise, healthier support system, therapy, enough sleep, good diet).

3. What do I need to let go of? Sometimes we believe that we have to keep experiencing something we always have. This isn’t always true. Ask yourself if you can let it go (a relationship, a job, a friendship, or a business).

4. Who do I need to forgive? (Hint—sometimes it’s yourself.)

These questions can help you get started leaving the tension of 2019 behind and walking into 2020 with a healthier mind frame.

You’ve got this. It just takes a little grit and grace!

Dr. Zoe

Starting today, leave 2019 behind. Make an active decision that this year will be different.

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You’ll love this podcast episode from This Grit and Grace LifeCan You Really Leave Your Past Behind You? – 028!

You’ll also enjoy this episode: New Year, Strong You! How to Reflect on Your Year in a Helpful Way – 114!

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Dr. Zoe is a licensed psychotherapist and relationship expert who recently jumped out of a perfectly good plane just for the experience.

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