No matter the situation, it can be common to think: “would have, should have, could have.” We often search for what life would look like if we took a different path. Amy Summerville, a professor of Social Psychology studies regret, says: “regret is feeling bad because things could have been better if we had done something differently in the past.” It’s a critical part of decision-making and how we feel after we make choices. According to Amy “it’s the most common negative emotion that people feel in their daily lives.”
However, studies show that regret isn’t always bad. Regrets are how we learn about ourselves; what it is we really want. When feeling regret, we have gained clarity on how we want our life to look, creating a clear picture of the expectations for ourselves. As James Joyce said, “Mistakes are the portals of discovery.” Don’t worry, everyone experiences regret. It is the emotion that makes us understand ourselves, showing our progress, dreams and goals. Let go of the feeling of regret and let in the newfound love for yourself.
At IdareU2bee.com we have a team that creates programs, activities, workshops, and books that support the social and emotional skill development of kids, parents, guardians, and teachers. One of the biggest things we notice is how much regret steals away dreams. It may seem you can never turn off your brain from judging yourself, it can seem impossible to overcome. It is not complicated, however, to minimize the impacts that regret can have if you allow yourself to discover the power that the emotion of love can have on your mind and your body during those scary moments.
Regrets motivate us to make different choices. When you know what you want it makes you more confident and when you are more confident, you become less attached to what could go wrong and focus more on what could go right. Give yourself permission to accept your emotions for what they are so that you can then critically think through the situation to know you deserve the best so that regret does not stop you.
Practice the following actions to help you LET GO OF REGRET and FALL INTO KINDNESS!
- ACCEPT THAT MAKING MISTAKES IS PART OF LIFE- Don’t beat yourself up for having regrets, we all have them! Accept your decision and move on, focusing on the ways you can move past this rather than focusing on what went wrong.
- AVOID SELF-SHAMING- Shaming yourself gets you nowhere. It won’t change anything but lower your self-esteem. Avoid talking about yourself in negative ways, start by saying the following affirmations: “Everything is going to be okay”, “one day at a time, one step at a time”, “I am in harmony and balance with life”, “releasing stress is easy”, and “I choose to feel peaceful.”
- SHARE YOUR REGRETS TO HELP YOURSELF AND OTHERS- Talking to someone you care about will always help with your negative emotions. Don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed we have all been there before, so don’t let regret hold you back. Sharing your moments of regret with others releases the shame that can be wrapped up in those moments, and it allows others to share and let go of their regrets. Releasing shame is an important part of healing, so don’t be afraid to share.
Until next time, stay confident, courageous and keep building your KIND MIND!