Saturday, June 24, 2006

Want to overcome your regrets?

Before expressing what I have read about the subject, I want to quote here one of the best pieces of advice I have read elsewhere.

“The two most fuile emotions in our life are worry and guilt.
Guilt for has been done and worry for what might be done.”

Both are absolutely inconseqential NOW.

Have you ever heard of a life without regrets? No? We all regret our actions in the past.
I have heard so many times ‘ No, I have no regrets’. But I never said that sentence. I do regret several of my actions and decisions and I vowed never to repeat in my life.

But I must confess that , regrets can become big burdens that stand in the way for my present happiness.
I read about the following steps to overcome my regerts in a site called
I share with you for your benefit. If you find it useful, share it with others.

Determine what your regret really is. Do you regret something you did? Something you didn't do? Something someone else did or did not do?

A circumstance beyond your control? It is important to step back from the feelings of regret and identify exactly what the regret is.

Analyze the regret and how you look at it. How does it make you feel? Is it based on facts? Are your feelings distorting what really happened or making it worse? Is this confusion limiting you in your current relationships and objectives? Are you trying to be perfect or change future events when that is not possible? You may also regret a situation over which you had little or no control, or a situation that you assume would have happened if you had chosen differently. Taking a good look at how you're thinking - and identifying possible fallacies in your thinking - is vital to working through regrets, but it takes time, effort, and usually some outside help.

Accept the circumstances. There may be responsibility for yourself or others. Recognize the responsibility, not blame, as well as the consequences of holding on to the regret.

Grieve for your regrets. When we feel regret, we are feeling sadness, anger, or whatever other feelings we first had for a situation - even though the experience is past. Allowing yourself to experience these feelings with the intention of moving forward can help you stop revisiting them over and over.

Forgive and make amends. If there is something that you can do now, do it! Apologize for your behavior. Breaking limiting behavioral patterns empowers you toward productive patterns. "Fix" whatever you can. Forgive yourself and others, and be compassionate toward everyone involved. If you find it helpful, use prayer or meditation to seek insight, courage, strength, forgiveness and peace.

Recognize what you have learned or gained. When you find yourself thinking of the regret, turn your thoughts to the things you have learned and the opportunities that are now yours - even if they are not what you would have preferred. There is always a lesson even in pain and sadness. Look for the lesson and focus on it instead of what might have been.

Writing about your regrets, feelings, and frustrations can help a lot as you seek to identify and analyze your regrets. Putting your thoughts into written words can clarify them in ways that will astonish you. Writing also takes a regret out of your internal emotions and puts it down where you can study and find ways to get past it.

Talking to a trusted friend or family member can also help you identify fallacies in your thinking and give you the opportunity to sort through your feelings instead of merely experiencing them inside yourself.

Visualize yourself acting and doing things as you move forward and leave your regrets behind. Use the techniques of visualization and self-affirmation to help you through the steps.
Seek out groups or a coach in order to exercise your behavioral patterns. We didn't come this far alone; so take advantage of the greatest tools available. Life coaches and group therapy (oft times called 'gyms') are a wonderful way of celebrating human teamwork.

The most important thing to remember is that someone else may be in a much worse situation, and, statistically at least; you are considerably lucky.

Start the forgiving and healing process by visualizing the wronged person and yourself saying to them, "I forgive you" - even if you were the one who wronged them. You may then complete this healing circle by visualizing the wronged person replying to you, "And I forgive you also." Even a visualization of forgiveness can bring peace, and replace the idea of who was "right" and who was "wrong."

Do not minimize the regret. Some regrets are devastating to those involved, but even the most serious regrets can and must be integrated in order to leave them in the past and live happily in the present and future. Accept it as it is and do not make it bigger or more powerful by dwelling on it.

Discovering the source of your regret but not modifying your behavior to avoid the situation in the future will lead to repeated regrets, possibly of greater intensity.

Acknowledgements: wikihow
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