Humans, unlike animals, have guilt that makes us unique. When the well-fed lions fall asleep at night, the look on their prey’s face is the least of their concern. In fact, the lions will keep enjoying savoring their meals without being bothered by what it felt when it took its last breath. Feeling guilty has its purpose, but it can have a devastating effect on your life if it’s overbaked.
At some point in your life, you will feel guilty about something. Many experts claim that guilt is a behavior that can be taught despite the fact that some people believe that it has something to do with genetic disposition. Guilt is one of the reasons that millions of people in the world tend to second-guess everything they utter and do, suffer from depression, and live with anxiety.
When guilt is balanced and contained in its proper place, it can prevent people from doing something that will leave a negative impact on them. When guilt becomes lopsided due to lousy parenting, religious beliefs, or anything else, it is necessary to have the right tools with you all the time to keep your guilt under control. You can deal with it properly before it makes you do unnecessary things.
Take it Easy
Guilt is an emotion that is both powerful and volatile – this can still be considered an understatement. Many people do crazy things because of guilt. They do things that they will only regret in the end. To prevent guilt from taking over you, it is good to heed one of the most powerful tips – don’t be so harsh on yourself. You should take it easy and not allow guilt to get the best of you.
Life doesn’t always go according to plan. People often utter the wrong things that they don’t even mean at the most inappropriate time. Most people have been in that situation already, and some can handle the situation much better than the others. If you did or said something awful, don’t hesitate to say a sincere apology. Try your best to make amends, and then move on without regrets.
At least once in your life, you might talk trash about someone. That person may even be your friend. You must have ignored the calls and texts from your cousin because she annoys you too much, and you have a packed schedule that day. It’s all part of your everyday existence and as long as things are kept within reasonable bounds, you don’t need to overly feel guilty about your actions. If you think you did something wrong and already gave a proper apology or compensated it in some other way, take it easy and forgive yourself too. What has been done should come to pass already. Stop torturing yourself by feeling guilty about it when you already apologized. It is time to move on with your life and don’t dwell on the past.
Jot it Down
If you feel overly guilty about something, try to write it down to help counteract the damaging emotion. Journaling is recognized as an effective therapy for an array of issues. Keeping a journal of how you feel every day can help you recognize the reason for having such a feeling or lessen your feeling of guilt.
When you write down your everyday thoughts regarding guilt and other emotions that you have, you can be more aware of yourself. You will be able to look more objectively at how unbalanced your guilt is and how you are being affected. Reading the previous entries in your journal can give you a lot of information regarding what you feel, gain a better understanding, and be able to make needed adjustments. It can also provide a therapeutic effect.
Try Mindfulness for a Change
Being mindful can help you overcome your overly guilty feeling. Mindfulness requires you to focus on the present. You should not think about the future and should also not dwell on the past. You only need to concern yourself with the present moment and nothing else.
You will no longer think about how you behaved last week or even the day before. Anything that made you feel excessively guilty in the past will no longer haunt you at the present moment. Mindfulness can help you take an objective and honest look at your guilt and the way it affects you at any given time.
Talk to Someone
Bottling up your emotions, such as guilt, is one of the worst things that you can do to yourself. Guilt is without a doubt an emotion that needs confiding to someone. Whether you choose to confide in your family member, trusted friend, or professional therapist, don’t forget to bring along your journal.
Talk to someone, ask for advice, and then get on with your life. Never allow yourself to continue living your life every day with guilty thoughts. Once you have talked to someone about the things you feel guilty about, let your guilty feeling go and move on. You will have peace of mind when you live every day free of guilt, and you will appreciate how wonderful your life is.