Time might heal all wounds, if we let it. But a lot of us operate in daily life by working against time.
If time passed more slowly, it would minimize our stress and the need to rush. So we constantly fight its passage, wishing it would slow down.
We also, less intentionally, get stuck in traumatic patterns and cling to old habits; we prefer sticking to comfort and familiarity over growth and evolution. But that keeps time from doing its job.
So we have a simple answer to this age-old question:
Time heals all wounds – if you let it. But you have to embrace the passage of time for the process to even begin.
Are you resisting moving forward?
To allow yourself to feel better over time, check yourself for the following areas of improvement. Are you doing any of the following to stay stuck in the past?
Ruminating over past experiences?
If you are, we don’t suggest just forgetting about them; rather, start the process of working through your trauma.
This can include going to therapy, learning to focus on your progress, developing new coping mechanisms, trigger-proofing yourself, etc.
Avoiding growing up?
Depression, anxiety, and all kinds of trauma can keep you from moving through life in-step with reality. This article lists the following ways you might cling to a previous phase in life:
- Re-watching favorite childhood movies
- Holding on to stuffed animals or comfort objects (which may have provided more ‘protection’ than your actual parents)
- Gravitating toward ‘fun’ foods
- Resisting commitments
- Trouble keeping a healthy bedtime/sleep schedule
It undoubtedly helps your mental health to keep yourself comfortable and safe. And we think it’s better to have outdated coping mechanisms than none. However, since we inevitably change as people, the coping mechanisms that once helped us may hold us back, in the present.
See if you can tweak outdated coping methods to fit your present reality.
Try embracing new responsibilities and your own adult identity. Experiment with turning healthy foods into fun foods. Or find a more subtle comfort object that has a more immediate connection to your current life (like swapping a high-quality fluffy jacket for your childhood blanket).
Maintaining harmful habits?
You may be shooting yourself in the foot with bad habits. If you’re holding your own vitality at bay, you can’t experience the world as it’s meant to be experienced. And time won’t do you any favors.
Create habits that allow you to live more in-the-moment. A general place to start is by preparing for the future when you have free time.
This could include packing your work bag the night before, making sure your train fare is all set, or replying to texts asap.
Good habits will help you deal with your to-do’s in the moment, so you don’t use up your future before it arrives. That keeps you available to experience life at life’s pace, which helps you heal.
Withdrawing from friends?
Socializing forces us to experience the world in the present. Avoiding spending time with others allows us to live in a world that may not line up with the real passage of time.
To ease into socializing, try watching a movie or TV with a friend. This allows you the comfort of zoning out if you have to, while giving you the opportunity to connect in the present.
As you get more comfortable commenting on what you see and having realtime conversations, you’ll feel better about staying in the moment — and about letting time just do its own thing. Time will start to heal your wounds.
If you need help staying present in this very moment, you can always use an anonymous, realtime chat with understanding people. Hit Chat Now, enter your thoughts, and you’ll get to talk to others in similar situations. It’s a good way to ramp up to healing in real life.
Embrace the passage of time, and you will feel better.