How to Stop Guilt and Free Your Mind

anything that you feel guilty about? I think we can all agree that guilt is a heavy burden. Metaphorically, this can make you feel like you are carrying a huge weight on your shoulders. If you let it, guilt can hold you hostage and consume your life. This is the ultimate form of betrayal. I have good news for you... you don't have to carry that negative emotion with you one day longer. If you've ever stopped to appreciate all the emotions you're feeling, you're sure to come across basic emotions like "happy" or "sad." These emotions are easy to understand and we usually know where they come from. According to Psychology Today, these are tough, innate emotions, meaning that we have all received them and can recognize them in ourselves and others.((Psychology Today: What are the Core Emotions?)) As we all know, sometimes life is messy. This is when not-so-fun emotions creep up and try to ruin our day, or worse, our lives. One of these emotions is guilt. So how do you stop feeling guilty? You will learn about it in this article.

Guilt Certain

There are different definitions of guilt, depending on what form you are training. I resonate most with the cognitive approach, which says that guilt is an emotion that people experience because they are convinced that they have harmed someone.((Psychology Today: The Complete Guide to Wine)) This is a trap that many people fall into, including me. Often it is the illusion of the possible harm you have done to someone that causes feelings of guilt. It is very easy to misinterpret events or other people's behavior. No matter how you parse it, guilt sucks. Question…. why do we feel guilty? Once you know where your guilt is, you can learn how to stop the guilt and free your mind to focus on more Empowering things.

Why We Feel Guilty

Guilt is a personal experience, something that may make you feel guilty may not bother someone else in the slightest. It all comes down to the moral code you live by. If you feel that something is wrong and I won't feel guilty about it, even if I don't care. At its core, guilt is the recognition that we have not lived up to our own values ​​and standards.((Psychology Today: What Makes Us Feel Guilty?)) According to Brené Brown,

“She holds what we have done or failed to do against our values ​​and psychological discomfort.”

The most common cause of guilt is from things you do or don't do. Letting yourself down is one thing, but letting someone down is the perfect recipe for experiencing guilt, which can sometimes lead to shame.

What kind of guilt do you have?

Guilt, like most negative emotions, is not a good feeling to have. Having to rethink your wrong choices can drive you crazy and make you think the way you could have done things differently. But as we already know, there is no turning back once you have gone through something. When you feel guilty, you can automatically go on the defensive. Some people will try to talk themselves into thinking that their actions were not as hurtful as they were. Sometimes, we try to find ways to believe that the people we hurt deserved it somehow. It's just the ego talking. When we are forced to reconsider these beliefs, we may become irritable or defensive, which is a self-defense mechanism. On the other hand, when we have accepted our guilt, we often try to make up for it. So, if you have made someone upset, you can do everything in your power to try to make him or her happy again. While making someone feel better can be a great thing, it can also take a toll on your emotional state. It is important to remember that trying to maintain or repair a relationship through guilt is not necessarily healthy. Choose your battles wisely, knowing that you cannot change the past, only rewrite the future. If the people in your life aren't on board with this concept, it's time to rethink your friendships.

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Side effects of guilt

When you feel guilty, it often means that you are also stressed. If you are constantly thinking about what you have done, it only makes sense that it is taking its toll on your body. That is why it is important to assess how much your guilt affects you physically. Guilt also takes its toll on her already fragile psyche. It greatly contributes to depression and anxiety, as it very often involves a negative self-image.((Web MD: Do you feel this guilt?)) The more you think about such things, the more you start dwelling on them. If you reflect on your actions on repeat, you are taking up space in your mind that could go to more productive thought patterns. Don't let guilt get the best of you. Give yourself a break. Life is too short to feel guilty all the time, and that's bad for your health.

How to stop feeling guilty and free yourself

You can retrain your brain to stop feeling guilty. Feeling guilty about what you did wrong is completely normal, but when you hold on to guilt for too long, it has the potential to take over your entire life. That is why it is important that you retrain your brain to stop feeling guilty. It starts with learning how to effectively deal with guilt in a proactive way.

1. Your Own Solutions

Once you make a conscious decision, and carefully weigh your options, it's all over. Agonizing about what you should have done differently, only to drive you crazy. The moment you take responsibility for your choices, you stop overthinking yourself and move on. Where people get stuck is that they make decisions without thinking about the consequences. As a result, they end up creating situations leading to stress and guilt. Don't let life happen to you. Rather let it happen for you. The best way to do this is by making decisions and owning them. By choosing any solution (even if it is not the best), you are claiming personal property. This is how you reduce your guilt and shame and regain your power.

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2. Practice Self-Compassion

You are not perfect and no one expects you to be. We all make mistakes. Don't self-sabotage yourself more than you need to, because life is hard enough. It is important to understand that feeling compassion for yourself does not mean that you instantly refuse to take responsibility for your actions. Rather, it means that you can finally let go of self-hatred and free your mind. The next time you start feeling guilty, try practicing self-compassion instead. Make it a daily ritual. Tell yourself that you are good enough and forgive your mistakes. You deserve it.

3. Consider Your Actions

You can't change anything until you think deeply about what it is that you did to make you feel guilty. Self-awareness is the foundation of personal growth. When we accept an invitation to reflect on our actions, we force ourselves to go inward and do our work to better understand who we are. Guilt leads to unproductive behavior like rumination that compromises your self-awareness and won't let you stay in the present.Impressed: How to Develop Self-Awareness While Quitting Wine)) There is no point in trying to run away from something that makes you feel guilty. So why do you feel guilty? Don't put the blame elsewhere. Instead, accept the role you played in the situation. Once you've done this, you can start thinking about why you made the mistake in the first place.

4. Learn from your mistakes

You are human, remember? It means you're allowed to screw up. This is part of the process of becoming the best version of yourself. When you feel like you've made a mistake, it's important to take the time to think about what you could have done differently. The best way to prevent yourself from spiraling into guilt is to ask yourself: “What can I learn from this experience?” If you don't move forward and learn from your mistakes, then you are most likely punishing yourself. When we learn to experience guilt as a way of gaining information, we are already healed of our mistakes. ((Oprah Magazine: How To Really Forgive Yourself)) Don't ask permission from someone to free yourself from guilt. Give this gift to yourself.

Final Thoughts

Do not allow guilt to control your life. Living life feeling bad about yourself is a waste of precious time. Life is short. Forgive yourself and move on and be happy. Are you ready to stop feeling guilty and free your mind? Take a deep breath and let go. Life is waiting for you.

More About Self Liberation

  • How to learn to let go of what you can't control
  • How to let go of resentment and anger
  • How to accept yourself for who you are and be happy
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