Experiencing feelings of regret in life is common. Any kind of incident such as a missed opportunity, a bad decision, or a failed relationship can cause feelings of regret. It can have a huge impact on a person’s mind. It deeply affects a person’s overall well-being and impacts their mental and emotional state. If the feelings are too deep and strong it could cause a prolonged negative effect on the mind that doesn’t go away easily.
If a person suffers from a traumatic incident like a crime, the feelings of guilt and regret manifest so strongly in a survivor’s mind, that its prolonged effect could affect a person both mentally and emotionally.
However, regret is a universal and natural part of life. It can give lifelong lessons or experiences if dealt with in a right and healthy manner.
The following article will try to explore the way we can deal with the feeling of regret and how to channel ourselves out of it.
1. Acknowledge and Accept
The first thing in dealing with feelings of regret is acknowledging them. By acknowledging and reflecting on our actions we have better clarity about what happened and it could be changed now. Not everything is meant to be perfect in this world. As human beings, we tend to make mistakes every day in our lives. Regret is a normal and natural part of enriching experiences in our lives. At some point, we might thank ourselves for our decisions. The best option is to accept it without letting it define our worth in life.
2. Reflect and Learn from mistakes
We tend to regret one decision made in the past and get clung to it deeply. Our previous decisions constantly cause us to feel bad and self-blame ourselves over small mistakes and millions of what-if scenarios. What we need to do is to reflect on our actions without regretting them. Every decision has an outcome and it could in various ways, what if the previous decision was good for us? By reflecting on our actions calmly we can use these opportunities as learning and further use this experience to make good decisions in life.
3. Practice Self-Compassion
It is a very common tendency to self-blame ourselves over major decisions, Regret is a strong feeling that causes us to feel negative about ourselves and question our worth as a person in life. Self-criticism and self-judgment can further fuel our emotions towards ourselves channeling into strong emotions of anger, worthlessness, and hopelessness. Remember that none needs to be perfect as we all are human beings, mistakes our what we learn in our life, and every small moment teaches us something precious. Always be compassionate with yourself because if no one is there for you there can always be a person on whom you can rely, which is you!
4. Focus on the Present and Future
It is important to learn from our past but overindulgence in passed memories and decisions can be harmful to our well-being. Overthinking past decisions is a dangerous channel to dwell in. It causes us to lose our productivity and have difficulty focusing on what is there in the present. It can cause us to ignore future opportunities and current blessings in our lives because we are so attached to the past. One should accept that the moment has passed and move on to our future and channel that it through constructive ways.
5. Seek Closure
Seeking closure in life with the root cause of regret sometimes might help with the feeling of burden. If possible, try finding the cause attached to your regret or why it is bothering you this much. If it is related to something or some try to meet that person and resolve those conflicts which you might have repressed to protect yourself. Facing the cause of the conflict sometimes provides mental relief from the feeling of regret and provides a clearer picture of things in life.
6. Seek help:
Nevertheless, the feelings of regret are becoming too overwhelming in life so seeking help from family and friends. Talk to a mental health professional to deal with the issues. Seeking therapy would help you deal with the cause of the regret and could provide an intervention to improve one’s condition.
Dealing with regret is a continuous and natural process of life. It requires patience, compassion towards oneself, and a positive outlook in life. Eventually, in life, there will be a time when our patience is going to continue tested and will stress our nerves but one should trust our instincts. Life events are always going to be new and difficult, but one should always take a moment to stop and reflect on our actions and actions and evaluate our strengths and weaknesses as well. Decisions based upon self-reflection and corrected mistakes always guide us to the right path in life.