Dealing with regret: 8 tips on how to deal with regret and be happy

by | Sep 20, 2019 | Motivation

how to deal with regret. dealing with regret

Have you ever noticed how excessive regret affects what you do and say? It’s human nature to want to go back and fix things or change things that we regret. However, most times the deed has been done and what is better in that moment is to learn how to deal with regret in a way that will make you feel better.

Looking back at some of the most painful moments of my life, I see myself filled with shame, feeling sorry and wishing they never happened. Rough times come and some things don’t just turn out the way we wanted, you might be feeling sorry for what you have done or haven’t been able to do, it’s okay to feel sorry, there is no such thing as a life without regret.

Regret is both a feeling and a pattern of thinking where one constantly replay or thinks and blames oneself about an event or situations that have taken place or actions that have been taken.

Regret can become a painful burden that interferes with your peace of mind, cause unhappiness and an unproductive moment if you don’t learn how to deal with them. In this post, I aim to share with you practical ways to deal with regret and overcome it.

Make the most of your regrets; never smother your sorrow, but tend and cherish it till it comes to have a separate and integral interest. To regret deeply is to live afresh. -Henry David Thoreau Click To Tweet

See also: 4 ways to turn defeat into victory

8 ways to deal with regret

    1. Identify and acknowledge what you feel

      The first step towards dealing with regrets is acknowledging your feelings, these may be different from person to person, feelings of regret include sadness, remorse, shame, anger etc.

      Regretting a past deed leave you feeling defeated and hopeless, it leads to anxiety and worry that might affect your future decisions that you might regret later.

      Many people deny their emotions which makes it take longer for them to overcome it when you choose to acknowledge your emotions, it helps you think of strategies you could use to overcome it, remember that a problem known is half-solved, when you acknowledge your emotions, you are a step closer to getting over it.

    2. Accept responsibility

      I’ve met many people who want to be perfect, they don’t accept responsibility, they push blame around, they tend to hold unto pain much longer because they aren’t willing to accept the simple fact that humans are imperfect.
      If you did something right or wrong, accept responsibility for what you did so also the consequences. I’ve seen people done that and when the consequences of their action comes, they aren’t afraid, they simply accept responsibility and move on without regret.

    3. Forgive

      It’s okay to be an imperfect person because that’s what we all are, after accepting responsibility, forgive yourself. We all make mistakes, but they aren’t permanent. Whatever situation you find yourself isn’t permanent, you might have done something you are ashamed of right now, that’s not the end of life, if you wronged someone, muster up courage, walk up to the person and apologize, forgive yourself and move on.

      If it’s the past you are still regretting, check if there is something you can do to change how you think and feel about the situation, reevaluate your current choices, make peace with the situation by accepting that it has happened and move on. You can’t rewind time, just live the moment.

    4. Don’t wrongly judge yourself

      It’s easier to start judging yourself for mistakes you’ve committed, but sometimes you can’t just put all the blame on yourself, if you weren’t the sole cause of the problem.
      Many people drown in regret and take full responsibility of issues they didn’t solely cause, they don’t take into consideration other factors that contributed to the problem, by doing this they add to their emotional pain.

    5. Confide in right people

      Sharing your problem with others is a way to lift the burden off your mind and finding a solution to your problem. It could be your loved ones, mentor, personal development coach, or a therapist. Don’t just drown in your problems, spit it out and let people help you out.

    6. Learn and apply your lesson

      Regret can be productive, it also can be an important tool for the future, recognizing your mistakes and lesson you could learn from them leaves you in a position better off in the future, try to look for the lessons and recognize that learning from the current situation makes you wiser, having this knowledge decreases the chance of making a similar choice in the future, do apply what you have learnt.

    7. Give it some time

      To cope effectively and to overcome regret, give it some time, take your mind off it, spend more time with those who make you happy. A happy relationship is like a drug, it heals a broken soul.
      Take your mind off the problem purposely either by meditating or going out, just avoid sitting alone and ruminating on your problems, let your emotions naturally work themselves out, make sure not to force them.

    8. Turn regret into gratitude

      Change regrets into gratitude, you might be thinking in terms of the following statements: “ I should have…” “I could have…” Change these into “I am grateful I can now…” When you do this, you’ll think about the past differently, and start to see the situation in a positive light.

A quick review of how to deal with regret.

  • Identify and acknowledge what you feel.
  • Accept responsibility.
  • Forgive.
  • Do not wrongly judge yourself.
  • Confide in right people
  • Turn regret into gratitude
  • Learn and apply your lessons
  • Give it some time

Life is living, live the moment. Regret is inevitable, you should learn to live productively with it. Regretting productively is a choice, you either choose to drown in regret over what is gone or use this moment to create a new life.
What are you going to do?

ABOUT <a href="" target="_self">Olajide Gbenga</a>

ABOUT Olajide Gbenga

I love to share and learn from people and their experiences in words.
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