Wishing to have no regrets and living your life by this kind of rule is an absurd and unhealthy way of life. A more healthy way of thinking would be to actually learn how to deal with regrets, accept them and just move on.

Regrets can be quite valuable if you treat them correctly: learning from your own mistakes can help you clarify what you value and make better decisions.

Have you ever wondered how you can deal with regret in a healthy way? Here are 3 essential steps to this path.

What are regrets?

Even if a life full of regrets means that we live longer in the past than in the present, regrets themselves do not make us prisoners of the past. Regret is a universal and adaptive emotion that we need to take responsibility for wrongdoing and to do better in the future. This emotion guides us to make different decisions based on the wisdom we have gained from our experiences and can help us to correct ourselves.

In other words, regret can be very beneficial as long as we use it to our advantage. But like any other emotion, regret can become excessive and debilitating, and can significantly interfere with our lives. When we are immersed in regrets, the inner discourse often becomes punitive and is accompanied by self-criticism for what it could have been, but it is not. There are recurring thoughts that always start with “Should have been”, “Shouldn’t have been” or “Why”, which have the potential to provoke stabs of guilt that can be a condemnation of a life viewed through the rearview mirror.

Pay attention to your feelings and listen to what they have to teach you

The first step is to rethink the way you talk to yourself whenever you face regrets.

The way we talk to ourselves is brutal. Most of us would never talk to another person in the brutal and negative way that we talk to ourselves. When you make a mistake, it’s so easy to get discouraged. But you could implement some self-compassion. It sounds cliché, but everyone makes mistakes – yet we tend to give others much more compassion than we do ourselves.

Treat yourself with kindness rather than contempt. Recognize that your wrong steps are part of the human condition and that normalizes them.

To deal with your regrets means to speak your truth and start expressing your emotions

Now turn your attention to expressing your feelings. The revelation of our regrets sets us free. You may think that people will think less of you if they reveal your vulnerabilities, but it’s important to get the words out of your head and get into the atmosphere (or on paper, if you like your diary or letters).

When you reveal your regrets, you understand them simultaneously. Emotions, by their very nature, are amorphous. When we write about them or talk about them, we turn that amorphousness into words, which are concrete and less threatening. In other words, those negative thoughts that are looming will not have as much power over you once you clearly define them.

Just remember to always look ahead

Once you understand a regret, you are finally ready to learn from it. And the way we learn from it is by eliminating some of them. In fact, research shows that “self-distance” techniques can help you move faster. The research shows very clearly that we are not doing very well in the process of solving our own problems. We are better at solving other people’s problems.

Courses that will help you increase your personal development level:

  1. Self-esteem
  2. Personal Development

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