Serving Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Holmby, Century City, Trousdale, Brentwood, Westwood

Conquering Stress! With Dr. Arlene—Focusing On the Past Causes Stress

Posted Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 7:20 pm

By Dr. Arlene Barro

Every person has a unique past, which we can use to influence the present and the future. Why would our past experiences cause stress? Let us revisit your past and find out.

Yearning for Yesterday

I will not ask your age, but the older you are the more memories you will have. In fact, you could accumulate millions of memories. Frequently you hear people say, “I remember how it used to be.” Often, they are referring to changes in standards. At age 80, it is possible to look back 75 years. Imagine how standards have changed over the past 75 years. How many people use landline phones at home? Asking for a divorce via email is an accepted practice. Verbal communication skills have declined as we text and email rather than talking on the phone or in person.

You can only return to the past in your mind. If you do not want the standards that you love to haunt you and cause stress, you must live in the present. To do that, you will need to change your behavior in a variety of situations. When the new standards annoy you, say something humorous to yourself to make you laugh. Also, keep in mind that you are your own boss. For certain standards that are important to you and you can control, just do it. This will also relieve stress as you restore or maintain some remnants of the past.

Harnessing Unresolved Issues

Often, we carry unresolved issues from our past. For example, we keep repeating the same type of mistake over and over again. Perhaps, we marry the Wrong Fit spouse more than once or accept Wrong Fit jobs consistently. If we do not learn from our mistakes, then we will continue to make wrong decisions forever. Observe your behavior to determine if, unknowingly, you have adopted rigid patterns of behavior leading to wrong decisions. Many of my clients do this, but are not aware of what they are doing. Once I point out their ineffective behavioral patterns, they are ready to make changes. I show them how to create Blueprints of Right Fits and match each blueprint to the One Right Fit. The result: you will rarely make Wrong Fit decisions.

Harnessing unresolved issues from the past, using my Right Fit Method, will significantly reduce your stress.

Treasuring Memorable Memories

When I was very young, I decided that I did not want a cluttered mind. I wanted to be creative. To do that, I needed to eliminate trivia. I decided to sort and file my ideas so I could quickly retrieve them. This approach helped me organize my mind and minimize stress.

As I was building a mental library of memories, I then pulled a treasure trove of memorable memories that I could access quickly and enjoy. What did I do with the painful memories? I discarded some and kept others.

Learn how to treasure your memorable memories without focusing on the painful ones and thrive.

Questions? Email Responses could appear in her next column.

Dr. Arlene Barro, the creator of the Right Fit Method, is a UCLA-trained behavioral educational psychologist and professional speaker. She is the author of “WIN Without Competing!,” a business, career, and personal strategist and founder/CEO of barro global search, inc. in Westwood. Episodes of her radio show are available at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up for Breaking News & Alerts