How To Deal With Regrets

If you want to learn how to deal with regrets, you need to understand that we all make mistakes. Understand that you didn’t take the wrong choice, you picked the lesson. Instead of contemplating your poor decision and expressing remorse You should be looking into why you did whatever you did.

Defining the reason behind your regret and what pushed you to pick the wrong choice Is the first step to getting rid of regrets. If you can pinpoint the reasons that put you on this track, you can anticipate your future behavior not to do it again later.

When looking back, it is useless to take your emotional state into account. Instead, be completely objective and rude with yourself. Judge yourself as if you were judging someone else. Which means that you should not take it personally. Detach yourself to better understand.

Now that you know why, it is time to move on. You have pointed out what made you pick the wrong track. You now know what parameters are making you regrets. Next time, you will ignore those parameters. If you know them, you can also get rid of them.

What if you’re not sure whether you regret or not?

Simple, you don’t.

If you have doubt then it is probably coming from external influence. Ignore Keep walking your path with confidence and certitude. Doubt is a burden you don’t need. Regrets are also a burden you don’t need.

What are regrets and where do they come from?

Regretting is an emotional state caused by the fact of reflecting on past events and imagine alternative scenarios that would’ve led to a different and hopefully better outcome.

Regrets are a way for our minds to evaluate if we made the optimal choices; put like this it might sound like nothing harmful & might even be beneficial in an effort to enhance one’s self-awareness. However, regrets induce an emotional state of bitterness and anxiety. Which are negative feelings that do not help one grow and progress in life.

This desire to correct our actions and improve their consequences stem from a feeling of missing out on opportunities. However, the actual consequences on a person’s mental health cannot be overlooked; repercussions might include:

  • Feelings of shame and anxiety
  • Decrease in one’s self-esteem
  • Eruption of guilt and anger
  • Self-induced self-doubt when it comes to one’s ability to make decisions

Now here is the thing:

Someone who feels regrets is usually a self-aware person that cares about improving every aspect of themselves.

The problem however lies in the inability to see past the mistake and learning from it. Many people will find themselves dwelling on their past rather than arming themselves with lessons they learned from reflecting on their past actions.

So how do we effectively self-reflect without the negative feeling erupting?

That’s what we’ll see on the next part.

Deal with regrets and use them to your advantage

If you are feeling regrets, it means that you are someone that does self-reflect. Someone with a minimum of self-awareness and with a tendency to be curious and seek optimization and efficiency.

Those are the good sides.

The negative side is that your emotions takeover your rationality and the eruption of negative feeling and cognitive dissonance lead to a negative loop that hinders you from effectively self-reflecting.

Here is the whole trick:

Regrets are negative self-reflection.

Self-reflection is beneficial; but not when it hinders progress.

In other words; the best way to deal with regrets is to rationalize them and be able to learn the lesson beyond the painful emotions.

Now, how do we effectively get rid of those negative feelings?

One thing that many people don’t understand is that letting your feelings be wild and free without accountability and proper self-reflection increases the likelihood of not being able to control them.

Through meditation and journaling; one can keep track of their emotional outbursts and put words on them. As such, one allows themselves to not only reflect on the past events and emotions but also visualize and put them in context.

Having a habit of meditating and journaling helps you structure your thoughts and have a clearer idea of what’s going on in your mind instead of letting emotions and thoughts erupt and disrupt your inner peace. Allocate a specific time for it.

Through those mental exercise, one becomes more self-aware and puts things into perspective.

At this point, most of the work is done.

What is left is the following:

  • Recognizing feelings of regret
  • Identifying the reasons behind it
  • Putting the finger on the circumstance that led to the regretful decisions
  • Understanding one’s mistake
  • Drawing conclusions and lessons
  • Forgiving yourself and understanding your own thought processes to correct them in the future*

* The emphasis on correcting your mistake IN THE FUTURE is of paramount importance. It draws a line when it comes to how to interpret the above mentioned; it is in an objective of preventing the reoccurrence of similar feelings rather than dwelling on what could’ve been done better have you had the same information.

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