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Do You Carry Regret in Your Life?

July 19, 2022
by TammyS | For Seniors
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Do You Carry Regret in Your Life?

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REGRETS:  We all have them, and we all struggle with them.  If we live our lives to the fullest, it is nearly impossible to avoid some type of regret.  They are unavoidable.

Do you go through life carrying regret(s) about your past?  Regret can have damaging effects on our minds and our bodies when it turns into self-blame and can even turn into depression and anxiety.

Holding onto regret (which is often felt as sorrow, shame, or remorse) and replaying it over and over in our mind is like dragging a ball and chain from our past with us everywhere we go.  It drains us, both emotionally and physically, and prevents us from fully living in the here and now because we are fixated on an old concern.

So, if we do seem to be a person who holds on to the past and to regrets, how can we better deal with that situation?

  • Take a look at why you may be having these regrets.  Was it due to something you did or a decision you made that you feel was in error?
  • What were the circumstances surrounding the event?  Were you entirely to blame or did another person make bad decisions also?  Were you acting under limited knowledge of the matter or under at the time or under multiple stressors?
  • Is there an action you can take that will make you feel better about your regret?  Do you need to apologize or make amends to someone you feel you wronged, either intentionally or unintentionally?  If so, do it with an open heart and true remorse.
  • The person you feel you wronged will either accept your apology or not.  You cannot control their actions, but you can control what you do.  It may even take them a while to accept your expression of regret and that is OK too.
  • Talk about the situation that led up to the regret with someone you trust so the feelings you have about it do not fester.  If you feel unable to discuss with another person, write the feelings you have down on paper.  By putting emotions into words, you can more constructively process your feelings.
  • If you feel there is nothing you can do to remedy your regret, then it is time to move on, find a way to forgive yourself, and put the regret to rest once and for all.  Stop beating yourself over it.  Everybody makes mistakes and we can use past regrets to decide how to make different decisions in the future.

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