5 Surefire Ways to Deal With Regret
What doesn’t have to happen is you holding on to it forever.
Releasing regret is a process, one that is different for every person and every situation.
However, you can give various forms of releasing regret a try and learn about yourself in the process.
5 Ways to let go of regret in life
1. Practice Daily Gratitude
As counterintuitive as it may seem this is one of the best ways to deal with regret.
Practicing daily gratitude is a great way to consistently remind yourself of all that you have.
Family, friends, a home, food to eat, maybe even a cute puppy to come home to.
No matter how big or small whatever your gratitude is aimed toward, reminding yourself of it is a great way to reflect on the good in your life and make the regrets seem less important in the grand scheme of life.
2. Trust the Journey
Reminding yourself that even the adverse events in life are part of a bigger journey allows you to look at the larger picture.
Yes, you may regret this one mistake or even many past mistakes.
Perhaps you got lucky and that one mistake lead you down a different path that had good outcomes.
Even if the outcome was negative the real lesson is in learning to be grateful for whatever outcome you experienced.
Everything happens for a reason, trust that in time you will find out why that mistake or loss occurred.
3. Learn to Release Emotions
Emotions in the grand scheme of life are fleeting.
Learning to release your feelings when they are not serving you will aid you now and in the future.
Stop beating yourself up for something that happened in the past and learn to move on with a clear mind and focus.
4. Accept the Lesson Learned
Situations or actions we regret typically offer us a lesson—if we are open to learning it.
Often this lesson is not so obvious at the time but in hindsight, the lesson will reveal itself to you.
Accept that you learned a lesson and move on with it.
Living through a challenging event means nothing if you don’t continue living and implement what you learned into your future life.
5. “What If-ing” the Past Doesn’t Change the Future
Living in the land of “what ifs” is tempting. This can also be expressed as could of, should of, and would of.
However, “what ifs” literally mean nothing in the practice of daily life.
You can spend hours or even days guessing or wishing for a different outcome, but it doesn’t matter.
Those what-ifs will never directly impact your future other than stealing from it.
Stop reliving it and move on.
Inspiration From Paulo Coelho on Closing Cycles
Here is an inspirational piece of writing that explains dealing with regret as a part of life from a spiritual perspective:
One always has to know when a stage comes to an end. If we insist on staying longer than the necessary time, we lose the happiness and the meaning of the other stages we have to go through.
Closing cycles, shutting doors, ending chapters – whatever name we give it, what matters is to leave in the past the moments of life that have finished.
Did you lose your job? Has a loving relationship come to an end? Did you leave your parents’ house? Gone to live abroad? Has a long-lasting friendship ended all of a sudden?
You can spend a long time wondering why this has happened.
You can tell yourself you won’t take another step until you find out why certain things that were so important and so solid in your life have turned into dust, just like that.
But such an attitude will be awfully stressing for everyone involved: your parents, your husband or wife, your friends, your children, your sister.
Everyone is finishing chapters, turning over new leaves, getting on with life, and they will all feel bad seeing you at a standstill.
Things pass, and the best we can do is to let them really go away.
That is why it is so important (however painful it may be!) to destroy souvenirs, move, give lots of things away to orphanages, sell or donate the books you have at home.
Everything in this visible world is a manifestation of the invisible world, of what is going on in our hearts – and getting rid of certain memories also means making some room for other memories to take their place.
Let things go. Release them. Detach yourself from them.
Nobody plays this life with marked cards, so sometimes we win and sometimes we lose.
Do not expect anything in return, do not expect your efforts to be appreciated, your genius to be discovered, your love to be understood.
Stop turning on your emotional television to watch the same program over and over again, the one that shows how much you suffered from a certain loss: that is only poisoning you, nothing else.
Nothing is more dangerous than not accepting love relationships that are broken off, work that is promised but there is no starting date, decisions that are always put off waiting for the “ideal moment.”
Before a new chapter is begun, the old one has to be finished: tell yourself that what has passed will never come back.
Remember that there was a time when you could live without that thing or that person – nothing is irreplaceable, a habit is not a need.
This may sound so obvious, it may even be difficult, but it is very important.
Closing cycles. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because that no longer fits your life.
Shut the door, change the record, clean the house, shake off the dust.
Stop being who you were, and change into who you are.
Concluding thought on releasing regret in life
You deserve a life that is fulfilled and happy, not a life that leaves you stuck in the past and wallowing in disappointment.
So If you are living your life being swallowed alive by your regret, start exploring one or all of these ways to deal with regret and bring peace to your life instead:
- Practice Daily Gratitude
- Trust the Journey
- Learn to Release Emotions
- Accept the Lesson Learned
- “What If-ing” the Past does not change the future
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