How to Stop Feeling Guilty

Let’s be real – we all have regrets. We may have done something wrong, leaving us feeling guilty. Our actions may have hurt ourselves or the people around us. You may be struggling to cope with your guilt. Feeling like your anxiety is running rampant. 

However, humans need to make mistakes in order to grow. To learn. To avoid doing the same thing. Guilt is a normal part of life. We may still feel it as if it’s a lump in our throat. It can make us feel cringey, uncomfortable, and upset with ourselves.

Guilt is a powerful emotion. It inspires us to change and grow. It may force us to acknowledge our mistakes and find ways to improve our behaviors. 

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You may feel guilty for something small, like stepping on your dog’s foot. Or, guilt may be a burden from many years ago. No matter how long you’ve felt guilty – you know it’s uncomfortable. It can bring about a lot of negative feelings for ourselves.

Moving on may feel impossible, but with these steps on letting go of guilt, you can have the power over those feelings again.

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How to Stop Feeling Guilty: Understanding what happened

The first step is to acknowledge what happened. Trace your guilt back to the moment it started. This could look like feeling guilty over a road rage incident. You were blinded by your frustration, and didn’t think about other possibilities for someone trying to pass you. 

Maybe you feel guilty looking back because there could have been an emergency. But you felt it was an attack on your driving. And you did something you wish you hadn’t done. That could be yelling out of your car, flipping them off, or tailgating them. 

Could your guilt come from being on bad terms with a loved one? Possibly, you didn’t get a chance to let them know how much you loved them, because it was too late. You may be regretting an argument or situation that caused you to act a certain way. Which you now regret.

It’s important to understand what happened that caused our guilt. Once we pinpoint and name it, we can begin the work on it. Learn how to be the boss of your anxiety when you are trying to trace back what happened.

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You can understand your guilt by taking some time to practice reflecting and mindfulness. This could be done with a journal or an electronic device to type/speak into. Spending regular time documenting your thoughts and feelings can go a long way.

Take some time to write/speak out exactly what happened. Potentially you broke a promise for a friend and regret that. Maybe you broke a promise to yourself and feel guilty about it. Whatever it may be, write it out in clear detail for yourself to review.  

Being able to navigate through all the tough emotions coming up for you may be hard. It can be scary to write about something that brings us shame, guilt, or regret. We may not want to share this information with others, and feel turned off by writing about it somewhere.

However you choose to name your guilt, do so openly and honestly. Accept frustration, sadness, regret, and anger that comes up for you. Sit with them with curiosity – not judgment. Be open minded to understanding why these emotions come up for you. 

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How to Stop Feeling Guilty: Learn from the past

We can only go forwards, right? It’s important that we are growing and improving from our past experiences. You cannot go back in time to undo whatever’s already done. Our actions are permanent. 

Some mistakes may have cost you a relationship with a loved one. You may not be able to reconnect with that person, but you can take from what you did to grow from it. Although it may not seem fair for you to grow now that they aren’t in your life, it’s important to. For your own sake. 

Do not run from your past; but rather, accept it. Even if it is very hard. And if you feel you are undeserving of it. Accepting the mistakes you have made gives you power over them. You decide how you want to live your life and what you want to do. You can choose to grow from what happened to be the best version of yourself. 

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Now that the event happened, you can take steps to learn from it. Although you may not be in the exact situation, you have the chance to act differently. Conquer your negative self-talk to learn from the past in a positive way.

Understand what led to your mistake. Were you triggered by something, in turn causing you to feel angry from anxiety? What feelings may have tipped you over the edge to cause your mistake? Identify how you felt in the moment you made the decision to make the mistake.

Now, understand what you could’ve done differently. Well, maybe if I took control over my anger and stepped away, I would have calmed down. Maybe if I practiced more patience, I would’ve understood the full story. Next time, I will let the situation unfold before I react. 

What parts of the mistake speak to you? Could it be the quick anxiety to anger line? Maybe you were nervous and stressed out, causing you to explode with anger or frustration. It could reveal to you that you are insecure or need more reassurance in your relationship. Specific areas that could improve may be more noticeable now. 

Depression therapy with a Simi Valley therapist in Simi Valley, Ca can help walk you through the events of an emotionally distressing event. 

How to Stop Feeling Guilty: Self forgiveness

You are only a human, and like I mentioned, humans make mistakes. It’s in our blood to mess up sometimes. Although we may know the answer, and still get it wrong. It’s okay. We are not perfect and not meant to be perfect all the time. 

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If you are actively working on changing what happened from your mistake, you should be proud of yourself. It is not an easy task to understand and learn from our past mistakes. It may take making the mistake a few times to realize something important.

Learn how to love yourself again! You know that through it all, you deserve to treat yourself with love and kindness. Understanding. Respect. Treat yourself how you want to be treated by others. Treat others how you want to be treated by them. 

Nevertheless, In moments of feeling overwhelmed, it’s important to practice coping mechanisms. It’s important to ground yourself again. Learn how to be the boss of your own anxiety. Learn how to control your negative self talk, today, right now!

You don’t have to endure the pain of guilt alone. Therapists near Simi Valley, Ca, are trained professionals ready to support you and help you accomplish your goals.

In person therapy for depression in Simi Valley, Ca, can help you foster your self love again.

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