Regret is unavoidable in life, but that does not mean you are forced to carry it forever. There are lessons to be learned from our greatest mistakes and biggest regrets; when you open your mind and heart to move past the things that haunt you, you free up an entire future to live with more joy and gratitude.
Accept Your Feelings
Only by accepting the past can you live fully in the present. Things that you did or did not do no longer define you in this moment. You are solely responsible for who you are and what you decide to do from this day forward.
Regret can teach you valuable lessons. If you miss not spending more time with your children while they were young, reach out to them now. Rather than focusing on what wasn’t, invest your energy into making more of what you have today.
Find the Cause
Underneath regrettable actions, there is a deeper emotion that needs to be healed before you can move on. What happened that really left a mark? Did your mistake fill you with a sense of shame that really intensifies your feelings of not being good enough? Did you act in a way that countered your values and, as a result, left you feeling like a fraud or a let-down?
Therapy can help you reach deeper into your mind and uncover all the hidden emotions regret covers. You are not too old, and it’s never too late, to get help. Journaling can also be an effective tool for releasing regret.
We often spend so much time thinking about things we did wrong or did not do at all that we forget to appreciate what is around us. Regret is a thief of joy; it robs years of your life that you deserve to live. You cannot change what happened, but you can embrace the present moment to start filling your days with small joys.
Gratitude does not absolve painful feelings, but it does serve as a helpful reminder that there is always something to keep us moving forward.