Many people define themselves by their past. If you had physical, emotional, or sexual abuse in the past you are angry, depressed, anxious, resentful, mistrusting of people and can't do anything about it, it's just the way it is. However, more people now are discovering that you choose how you think and feel despite everything that happened.

The first thing to realize is that you can choose how you think and what you think about. If you are thinking about a past wrong that happened to you, realize that you do not have to dwell on it. Most people dwell on problems and difficulties because they believe that they have to keep thinking about the problems until they reach a resolution. Consequentially, they spend their whole day feeling worried, angry or depressed and often lose sleep as they continue to dwell on the problems.

When you consider what thinking is, it's problem solving. The negative side to that is that if you do not make a conscious effort to control your thinking, you will tend to think about your problems. The good thing is that you can decide what you are going to think about. You could be angry thinking about a time when you withstood abuse or misunderstood by parents, or a lover, or you could choose to think about a recent vacation your went on, or a recent accomplishment. You can feel overwhelmed thinking about how you failed out of college before and you are back in and having a test, or you could think about setting aside study time and choose to focus on the material. You could get depressed thinking about what you used to have, or you can think about what you have now and what you could now do to acquire more of what you used to have.

You may have observed from the previous examples that you can use thinking as problem solving for good and not to make yourself unhappy. Imagine if you think of every past experience as something to learn from. If you were frequently criticized in the past you can now be easier on yourself. If you were physically or sexually abused in the past you now can plan to protect yourself. If you do not trust people because of past abuse, you can learn to discriminate between people whom you trust and those you do not. Therapy is a big help with this.

Once you arrive at a solution for the problem memory you no longer have to dwell on it. If you start thinking of the memory you can consciously choose to think about something that is more pleasant. You get to choose!

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Author's Bio: 

Frank Healy is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Life Coach. He is one of about 50 people who have been classified as having Hyperthymesia by the University of California. Frank participated in their reserch studies because he remembers every day of his life since he was six years old. He is now 53. His memory of each day includes the day of the week, the weather in his locale, news events and personal experiences. Recalling so much in his life had it's advantages and disadvantages. The advantages include recall of every happy experience he had with friends, family, school, and his wife. The corollary of that is that he remembers all of the negative things. Bad days at work and school, slights from people, bad days at jobs, romantic breakups etc. Before he began his own journey he would recall bad memories with the same emotional intensity as if he was experiencing it now. He had learn to let go of the feelings. He now counsels and coaches people to heal from the ill affects of their own traumatic and unpleasant memories. This can help people be happier and move on to a successful present and future.

Frank live swith his wife in Dennisville, New Jersey. He is in private practice at Associates For Life Enhancement in Northfield, New Jersey. Frank enjoys going to the beach, reading, writing, playing quizzo with friends (It's a trivia game) and playing ball wth his grandsons.