How to make peace with regret

Let’s suppose you are stuck in an office, glued by a computer screen, typing to hit the keys and send an important email. And you ignored the constant calls of your mother. Later, you realized that you have lost connection with her. The regret of a long time gushes in your life. You yearn to change your past decisions that seem impossible. So, it’s a negative emotion that dwells on the lost opportunity.

Short term regrets are accompanied by guilt and hatred but the long one impedes the holistic growth of an individual. Our inner quest to rectify wrong choices makes us breed over chronic diseases. Negative cognitive thinking entangled our minds in a loop. We all have regrets in our lives and I am not advising you to deny them.

Dr Roese notes that regret can be damaging to mental health when a person fixates or ruminates on the missed opportunity. When we are emotionally disturbed, we tend to see things black or white. The gulf between fantasy and reality is widened by our false narrations of the past.

We can’t ignore the corrosive forces of living with regrets. Studies indicate that regret might be rooted in education, parenting, romance and other areas. It is a form of self-hatred or criticising oneself for past actions. Humans have the habit to rely on the past. Recalling wrong decisions or choices only make things worse and awful to bear. By doing this, we activate our subconscious mind to deal with an emotional state. Anxiety, depression, chronic stress and cardiac arrest are the various strings of regret or guilt. A constant flow of negative emotions breaks down human machinery.

Some of us never realise the work of the almighty and feel ashamed for our past choices. A false alarm rings in our head telling us we could reverse our past mistakes. But can we change things?

Most certainly not. We can learn a lesson from our mistakes but we cannot change them. Probably our next step should be how to let go of regret from our lives.

How to get rid of regret and move clean

The first thing we must understand is that feeling guilty or regretting something is universal and acceptable. We often tell ourselves to suppress our emotions, anger or pain because they make us feel fragile and vulnerable. But, it’s okay to feel those emotions as they are a part of who are we. Long term regrets constraints our happiness and joy for a lifetime and they need to be stopped.

1. Acceptance of emotions

Don’t be afraid to feel anger, pain, sadness, or elation, and don’t be afraid to communicate your emotions appropriately. God has created us to enjoy the sour, pungent or sweet flavours of life. People cry from poor relationships and the loss of dead ones. It is imperative to not feel sorry about our decisions. Choices are brought to the action on the command of the mind. Mind itself is a treasure trove of gems and stones. Every emotion is a part of our being and we must not let it consume us. Emotions are dynamic and evolving just like human civilization. By accepting them, the burden is lessened and released.

2. Analysing negative behaviour patterns by CBT

Cognitive behaviour therapy balances cognitive dissonance( mental barrier) and the health of the patient to address negative emotions and distorted thinking patterns. It gives a thorough analysis of the emotional overload that triggers guilt and shame. For us to live in peace, it is important to take care of our bodies as well as minds. To learn more have a look at

3. Practising gratitude for small steps

Small rocks can build mountains and small steps can guide us to reach milestones.

For example, it should be respected if someone is trying to analyse their distorted thinking patterns or isn’t thinking about a breakup. If someone has lost a few pounds or exposed inner anguish, then it should be cherished. Thanksgiving provides strength and flexibility. It makes us feel positive throughout the day. Counting glorious events helps to alleviate the mood.

4. Share thoughts with loved ones

It is a proverb that says,” To share is to care.” Lingering over past actions steal the happiness and love of dear ones. It stretches the gap affecting relationships with family, spouse or dear ones. It creates a disconnection with our body and mind. The more you speak about inside feelings with a friend, the less likely you are to feel out of control. A long walk along a beach or talk with a friend can relieve stress.

5. Never make regret a defensive tool

We are designed to respond to toxic emotions by enclosing the mind in a shield. If we blame ourselves for what is happening in a toxic relationship it is more likely we built a wall of dislike and disbelief towards others. The lenses of their mind deny them the ability to see the positive traits of the other gender. People who suffer from regret begin to defend themselves as they behave. Regret thus serves as a poison to a tormented soul. We must be open to obstacles, struggles and opportunities for making peace with our minds. Meditation can help to control negative thoughts.

Regrets are the inner demons that look to consume us. Attaining mindfulness is a long, vital process that requires faith and perseverance efforts. Although we are all in the same boat, we shouldn’t feel ashamed of our mistakes. It’s time to break the taboo that says mental health is only a witchcraft act. Thinking about what’s next will prepare us for the future.

5 thoughts on “How to make peace with regret

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  1. A very well researched topic on regret and truly impressive with A for Acceptance and owning up to things to a long way. I think the points argued are imperative so that regrets doesn’t impede us as an individual or mental health. In my case, regrets can range from small things to not speaking out or career choices that gave me mental set back and can identify so much with your points.


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