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How to Diagnose and Overcome Your Great Regrets

Regret can be a crippling feeling that gets in the way of progress. Life is filled with decisions, and it is impossible to make the right decision every time. You may have moments in your life where you are confident that you made the wrong decision. Regret can fill you with negative energy and cause you to miss out on contentedness and happiness throughout the remainder of your life. Identifying which moments in your life are the cause of regret and working to overcome those feelings can lead to a more positive outlook on life and a happier hindsight of your personal history. Here is how to understand regret and what you can do to overcome feelings of regret.

What causes regret?

Regret is an emotion that you may feel if you think that a different action or choice than the one you have made would have resulted in a better outcome than the one you got. Regret comes in a spectrum of intensity and is a difficult feeling to overcome. Regret is an emotion that is born from fear or lack of control. You may feel negative emotions when you see the results of your choices and they are not what you wished them to be.

Common feelings of regret

Regret is a familiar feeling that everyone is likely to experience at some point in their lifetime. There are many common scenarios where it is normal to feel regret. Regret is most common when you experience a disappointing event in your life. To rationalize the disappointment you are feeling in the current moment, you may look back at the choices that you made that led up to the disappointing event. Placing blame on these choices that you made in the past but no longer have any control over is a coping mechanism that can lead to some severely negative emotions.

Regret is often divided into two categories: the action path and the inaction path. The action path of regret covers everything that you regret doing. The inaction path covers everything you regret not doing in your life. Regret can come from meaningful, impactful choices or small decisions that result in undesirable outcomes. Regret is common after making complicated choices in your career, relationships, or personal life. No matter what causes regret in your life, it is important to understand that the feelings that you are feeling are natural and can be overcome with time, self-compassion, and a little bit of work.

How to Deal with Regret

Dealing with feelings of regret can be extremely difficult. You may feel angry or sad at yourself for the choices you have made in the past. You may feel a sense of loss or mourning for the opportunities you missed out on. The first step in dealing with regret is to recognize that the feelings you are feeling are regret. When you identify your feelings as what they are, you can take the necessary steps to overcome them. Since regret comes with a variety of other emotions, it is vital to identify that regret is the basis of your complicated feelings. Then you can take the necessary steps to work through those feelings.

Once you can accurately identify the feelings as regret, you can begin addressing the thoughts that are influencing those feelings. Self-Compassion is a vital piece of overcoming your feelings of regret. Accepting feelings of regret and forgiving yourself for the actions that led to the negative outcome is the only way to deal with regret.

You must understand that the actions that caused your feeling of regret are already taken. You cannot get into a time machine and change the course of your life. However, you can control the feelings you are feeling now, and those feelings can affect the course of your future. Control the things that you can control and let go of the things that you cannot.

5 Ways to Overcome Regret

Forgive Yourself and Avoid Obsessing over Regret
Negative feelings of regret can ruminate and wear you down the more you obsess over them. Forgive yourself for the initial action you regret. You cannot go back and change your choice, so it only makes sense to forgive yourself and focus on the future. Once you forgive yourself, you will slowly stop feeling the negative emotions tied to regret.

Find Ways to Refocus your Energy
Regret takes a lot of time and energy away from more productive endeavours. Finding ways to distract yourself and refocus your energy on a positive endeavour can reduce future feelings of regret. It can also take your mind off of the negative feelings you are feeling now.

Take the time you Need
Regret is a complicated feeling that can take a lot of time to pass. Sometimes, giving yourself time to deal with feelings is the only way to overcome them. Take time to heal by focusing on activities that relax you and minimize the negative feelings associated with regret.

Set New Goals for the Future
You can’t change the choices you have made in the past, but you can change the choices you make now that affect the future. Set new goals and focus on making positive choices that will help you reach your goals. Not only will this reduce feelings of regret in the future, but it will refocus your energy and give you hope so that you do not continue to ruminate on negative feelings.

Consider Going to Counseling
If your regret feels like an overwhelming force that you are unable to overcome on your own, consider counselling. Meeting with a counsellor can help reframe your situation and provide you with the tools you may need to overcome your regret. There is no shame in needing help. If you feel your regret is unbeatable, seek counselling online or in your area.

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