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No matter who you are, what you do, for where you have been, you have regrets. Some of these regrets are small, like that time you ordered the chicken but your partner’s steak gave you threw worst food envy of your life. Other regrets are more intense; they are the ones that keep you up at night, and you fall right back into the time, finding it impossible to escape. 

Many people already know that dwelling on regrets is unhealthy, but this is easier said than done. If you have any regrets, and you certainly do, it’s vital to know how to deal with and overcome them so they do not rule your life. If you’re struggling to focus on anything because of any regrets, here are ten effective ideas to consider. 

Recognize Your Feelings and Emotions

The first step towards dealing with regrets is to identify your feelings and understand why you regret whatever is bothering you. Did you offend someone? Did you ignore the chance to say goodbye for the last time? Did you make yourself look like a fool? These are all completely valid reasons as to why you might feel regrets, and knowing what causes you to have trouble with it will make it easier to overcome. 

Do Not Obsess Over Your Regrets 

This might be the most difficult part of dealing with regrets. While you might forget about your regrets from time to time, you can also obsess over them when something triggers the memory. You relive the incident and wonder what you could – and perhaps should – have done differently. The time has passed, though, and you cannot change anything, no matter how much you might want to. It’s useless obsessing over what could have been different. Instead, you need to think about how to avoid repeating these mistakes.

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Consider Coping Mechanisms

Everyone has their specific coping mechanisms when they face problems in life. Some of these coping mechanisms are healthy, like going to the gym or writing about them. Others are not healthy, and if you tend to blame others or shut yourself off from the world, you won’t do yourself any favors. When dealing with regrets, consider how your coping mechanism influences your wellbeing and progress and ask yourself whether it is worth it. 

Be Kind to Yourself 

When suffering from the mental fatigue that regrets bring, it’s tempting to punish yourself and beat yourself up for things that you cannot change. You must embrace ways to be kind to yourself, and activities that can help to improve your mental health are a useful place to start. As you can’t do anything about these regrets, there’s no use wasting time making yourself feel worse. So, make sure you stay healthy and do things you want to do to stop yourself from falling into a hole. 

Allow Yourself the Time to Heal

You won’t get over your regrets in a single afternoon. While you might feel better about things each day, there will also be days where you worry about everything again. Healing is a process that can take time depending on the individual. As long as you don’t expect to see immediate changes, you will put yourself in a stronger position to heal. 

Find Distractions 

If you find yourself constantly worrying about your regrets, you need to look for ways you can distract yourself. With this, you should turn to your hobbies. Doing something you enjoy will take your mind off any problems you have, and you may not think about them for the rest of the day. While you can’t always find something to distract yourself, it’s a useful tool to have with you, whether it’s exercise, reading, or listening to music. 

Write Down Your New Goals 

People don’t like making the same mistakes repeatedly, and writing goals down will make this likely to happen. If you consider your regrets, whether it’s poorly judged tattoos or poor conduct at work (among plenty of other problems), you can write down how you can do better next time. Finding cover-up or repairs services can help with any tattoo issues, and Li-FT is a safe and effective saline based tattoo lightening solution, whereas identifying where you went wrong at your previous job and highlighting the issues will ensure you are more professional in your next role. 

Look Into Counseling 

Not everyone can deal with their issues alone, and a support network is crucial, but you can also consider how counseling could help if you would prefer professional advice with overcoming your regrets. While the generous ear of a friend or relative can be useful, a trained professional will offer advice that can help you work through problems with greater success. 

Face Up to Difficult Questions

If you want to see changes, you may have to ask yourself difficult questions, because no one else is going to do that for you. Everyone has their way of dealing with these questions, and you could try writing them down and answering them to make them more real. Likewise, sitting in front of a mirror and interviewing yourself could highlight the main problems, but choose whichever approach you feel comfortable with. 

Be Aware of the Emotional and Physical Impact of Regret

Some people will try to get on with it when dealing with regrets. However, this can bring a heavy emotional and physical toll, even if you don’t realize it at first. Constantly worrying about regrets and leaving some stones unturned will eventually catch up with you. As physical and mental health are entwined, you will only be hurting yourself, as each aspect of your life will affect the other. From energy to motivation to focus and a good night’s sleep, there are multiple reasons why overcoming regrets will be worth it. 

Overcoming 

Some regrets are easier to overcome than others. If you know how to approach each regret and have the tools and support to deal with them, you’ll find it much easier to free yourself from the shackles that plague those dark and lonely nights where you’ve no company but your thoughts and history. 

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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