10 Tips on How to Deal With Guilt
Everyone goes through agonizing guilt at some point in their life. However, there are ways to deal with this type of guilt and make your situation a little less torturous. There is no need to run away from your feelings, in fact, coping with guilt can be very advantageous. If you deal with it purposefully, you can end up changing your bad habits, learn meaningful lessons, strengthen your character and even make your relationships stronger. Everyone experiences such feelings, so it is okay to have them. It only proves that you are human. Treating these feelings of guilt is what counts most. Here are tips that could make the process a little easier.
1. Do not punish yourself
However awful the thing you did is, it is not good to punish yourself. At one point or another, everyone does something they regret. The best thing you can do when you find yourself in such a situation is to try to learn from it. Never repeat the same mistake. Also, do not dwell on that mistake. The more you dwell on your mistake, the more you deprive yourself of happiness and progress.
2. Seek forgiveness
This case is twofold; first you have to ask forgiveness from the person you have offended and second, you have to forgive yourself. Self-forgiveness is not just healthy, but great for your self-esteem as well. Once you accomplish this, nothing can stop you from being happy.
You will have to dig deeper into your inner self and truly forgive yourself just like you would any other person. Be compassionate with yourself always and establish that it is okay to make mistakes once in a while. Being hard on yourself will only hurt you in the long run.
3. Accept your mistake
Taking responsibility for your mistake is another healthy step towards getting rid of guilt. Always establish where you went wrong and try to come up with remedies for your mistake. If you have hurt someone, establish a conversation with them and try to come up with ways to compensate them. Stay humble and try to connect with them in order to solve your problem. If you do not reach an understanding, remember that time heals almost anything. As time goes by, so does your guilt. Accept your mistake, make amends, and move on.
4. Talk to someone about it and get advice
In extreme cases of guilt, when self-help methods don’t work, you could always opt for professional advice. This method also works in two ways; first, when you feel so guilty that it becomes hard to forgive yourself and let go and secondly when you need the professional to resolve your feelings with the individual that you have wronged.
In situations where the person who was harmed dies before the apology was made, professionals administer psychotherapy to help the patient process their emotions. Therapies are available for as many people as there can be, families could also participate. Medications could also work for those who need it to regain their happiness and confidence.
5. Nobody is perfect
No human is perfect. Even those you look up to, make mistakes. It is impossible to live a perfect life. Imperfection is part of humanity, so cut yourself some slack and just move on.
6. Be present
Keeping your thoughts in the past is unhealthy. Seek happiness in the present. Do not think about what could have happened. set your mind on what is. Nobody can change the past, and for this reason, we should always live in the present and focus on the future. Always train yourself to be solution oriented. Live mindfully and teach yourself how to act in the future given you meet the same situation.
7. Check on your behaviour
When it comes to guilt, acceptance comes first, then you need to step back and reassess yourself. Guilt can precipitate other feelings like anxiety, stress, or even depression. Now that you are in this situation, you need to ask yourself how these feelings are manifesting in your behaviour. By so doing, you avoid making things worse than they already are.
8. Be mindful
Practising mindfulness helps you live in the present. It helps you keep your mind off the guilt that you once felt. The present matters most if you want to get rid of guilt from the past. Mindfulness involves asking yourself questions whose responses bring awareness to your guilty feelings. Example, ask yourself, what you can do to be worthy of happiness. The solutions you offer to these questions will also ware down your guilt.
9. Keep track of the guilt
This is a simple and effective way to deal with guilt. Get a journal and record your feelings on a daily or monthly basis, whichever suits you. Establish who you are, what you want to be and establish a balance between the two. Setting clear goals will get you almost there.
10. Let it go
Bad decisions come with consequences. It is always the better option to collect yourself, apologize and just let it go! Guilt will only give you a hard time.
The steps listed above will give you a road map to addressing the guilt that is eating you up. Life is too short to live unhappily.