How to get rid of feelings of regret about the past - advice from a psychologist

And really, why is this? Need to! Regret is necessary, important and even useful! This feeling is at least a sign of your mental health. After all, as studies have shown, the inability to regret is one of the symptoms of psychopathy, and it is also a sign of some damage to the cortex of the lower surface of the frontal lobes of the brain.

Roughly speaking, there is only one recipe for the request “how not to regret anything” - a lobotomy. Do you want this? No? How then can we explain the fact that this article was discovered? Do you want to get rid of remorse and not pay anything for it? Alas, there is no magic: either you regret or become a vegetable! There is no third. Although... it is a given - you can, of course, become a superman; this path will probably be easier for some.

Don’t regret anything, I beg you, don’t ask me. Do not regret anything - this is beyond the human power of the song by Evgeniy Klyachkin

The dangers of regret

A person may experience emotional, cognitive, and neurophysiological effects with feelings of regret.

This feeling is often accompanied by other negative emotions, such as guilt, disappointment, and a feeling of worthlessness. In addition, people often dwell on long-ago problems, trying to understand why they made a bad decision or acted the way they did.

Constantly running scenarios in their head about what other decisions they could have made to get a better result. But the feeling of release never comes, because it is impossible to return the situation and implement a different course of events.

Regret tells us what could make us happier, so it is very important to listen to it carefully and perceive it as an alarm signal. But don't dwell on your regrets, otherwise they will eat you up. It is reasonable to turn back, look into the past in order to establish contact with yourself, but it is necessary to return to the present in time, so as not to miss the future.

Scientists studying emotion have noticed that the feeling of regret is more common and becomes more noticeable in situations where there is no way to correct a decision or action. People can kick themselves for years for missing out on an opportunity that they can't get later. A person’s real life goes unnoticed, while he endlessly chews on events that have already happened.

A short-term sensation of this feeling will not cause serious harm to health. But many people fail to free themselves from negative emotions and it gradually begins to destroy their lives.

Too many regrets turn into a persistent feeling that everything in life is going wrong: “I can’t make good decisions,” “I can’t be trusted with anything important,” or “I always choose the worst things for myself.” Why is the feeling of regret so dangerous?

  • It gives rise to other destructive feelings (guilt, resentment, disappointment), which ultimately lead to uncertainty and low self-esteem.
  • Causes a feeling of indecision, sometimes fear (it wasn’t possible to make the right decision that time, it won’t be possible this time either).
  • Makes a person stuck in the past, depriving him of the joy of the present moment.
  • Leads to dissatisfaction with life, sometimes to depression.
  • Gradually weakens the nervous system, leading to psychosomatic diseases.

These are just the most basic negative factors that inevitably follow the feeling of regret.

Sometimes regrets literally paralyze us. We lament what we could or should have done in the past and lose the ability to move on.

Psychologists have discovered an interesting fact: people who experience strong regrets about past situations do not strive to correct it if given the opportunity. For example, if a person regrets that he did not receive an education in his youth, he does not try to get it later, even if such a chance arises. This suggests that the mere feeling of regret does not change a person’s behavior patterns and beliefs.

Influence of uncontrollable factors

Psychology studies the processes caused by any activity, but most people do not take into account constantly changing factors. So, when choosing a vacation spot, you think that in six months you will have an ideal picture. A lot of effort was spent on making a decision and dozens of options were reviewed, so you are firmly convinced that you are right. The last thing on your mind will be the constant storms and cold seas in early July.

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Six months before a vacation, it is impossible to predict the weather with at least 80 percent accuracy. Your family can only hope that the heavenly office will be merciful to you this summer. Otherwise, you will be doomed to sit in the hotel and swim in the indoor pool. Was it worth flying several thousand kilometers and spending most of your family savings on it for the sake of what you can do in your city?

How to get rid of feelings of regret

Regardless of the reason, the emotion of regret seriously poisons life and sometimes leads to neurotic disorders. It is simply necessary to get rid of it. As, indeed, from all other destructive feelings.

Mindfulness helps you free yourself from less pain, remorse and self-judgment. You need to understand and realize two simple things:

  1. You couldn't have done anything differently in that situation. If only because decisions about other options came to you later, and not exactly at that time.
  2. It's gone no more. It is alive only in your memory. There is only one present moment - Here and Now. Dedicate all your thoughts and actions to him. It is not the situation itself from the past that torments you, but your memories of it.
  3. There are no right or wrong actions in life. There is only your reaction to them and attitude to the situation.

Feelings of regret over past failures should not develop into fear of failure. “You can often learn a useful lesson from failure, so failures are the best help.” Hong Zichen

Often we are tormented by regrets because we were unable to control the situation in time. It seems to us that if everything was in our hands, we would know exactly what to do better. But when we realize that not everything depends on us, we begin to worry.

We can only get rid of regrets when we give up routine and control over situations occurring in our lives. And as long as we strive to control everything, we will have a feeling of regret in our lives.

Disappointment, regret, ambition, the desire to control the situation are an integral part of the personality and life path and nothing can be done about it. You just need to enjoy every day you live.

Regret can be the reason why a person begins to feel disgusted with life instead of enjoying it. However, if we learn to respond to it correctly, regret can even help us.

In the absence of any difficulties and problems, it is very difficult for a person to change. Any “shake-ups” contribute to the growth and development of the individual.

So, the feeling of regret contributes to the effectiveness of the learning process, the evolution of our consciousness. Taking the wrong step, saying the wrong phrase, we regret it, the feeling is not so pleasant, as a result, we remember our mistake in order not to repeat it.

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In any case, now I know how to stop regretting the past: to do this, you just need to change your attitude towards it and not become despondent from the realization that the missed opportunity will never happen again. On the contrary, you should look at such a past as a necessary stage in your movement towards success.

And if you also consider that the past does not exist at all, as some experts say, and everything happens in the present time, then it is best to start being grateful for everything and simply enjoying every minute of life.

It is this approach that allows you to see in any failure or mistake a potential opportunity for your further development as an individual, and ultimately, the triumph of the light of truth over the lies of darkness.

Dear reader, I sincerely wish you, in any situation, not to accept the negativity that arises in your address, but to treat this as a training to cultivate the best qualities of your soul.

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Psychological constructor

We become acutely aware that life's lessons can be used to prevent future disappointments. It helps you become wiser and feel better. Regret can be a psychological construct associated with decision making, coping with difficult life situations, and personal growth.

This quality forces us to engage in retrospective analysis. We want to figure out what thoughts and events led us to wrong actions in the past. This helps to track specific incorrect behavior patterns that at one time brought a lot of negative emotions.

It seems that the ancient sages were right when they said that it is never too late to learn. We can indeed use regrets for good purposes, the main thing is to find a middle ground.

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Rewrite old scripts

“I’m living in the past, how can I get rid of this?” - This is exactly the question many people come to see a psychologist with. During the conversation, specialists often notice that throughout his life the patient walks in circles, constantly stepping on the same rake, acting in a similar “wrong” way in similar situations.

The reason is that the human brain records scenarios that are triggered whenever you find yourself in a similar situation. To break this vicious circle, you need to rewrite the negative script of the past in a positive manner. Imagine that a situation that haunts you has been resolved in your favor. Think through a sequence of actions that could lead to a positive outcome. This will help you avoid making mistakes in the future.

Golden mean

Where can one find that notorious golden mean? It depends on narcissistic regulation or balance maintenance regarding internal stability. For example, people with low self-esteem are more susceptible to self-blame. Thoughts of regret push them to endless thoughts and are a difficult test.

This can tie insecure people hand and foot. From now on, they will not take risks for fear of doing the wrong thing again. Thus, a person stuck between regret about the past and fears for his future loses his present.

Attitude needs to change

To determine whether your choice is a good outcome, you need to focus on the decision itself, not the outcome. This technique is taught to the military, doctors, industrialists, marketers and scientists. For example, doctors are trained in medical schools to help patients choose between different treatment options. This method is called informed decision, and its secret lies in providing all available information, as well as considering the preferences of both the patient and the doctor. Please note that this concept does not say anything about the results of improving the patient's health. Doctors know that it is impossible to predict in advance how the body will react to a particular drug. That is why, as treatment progresses, they often have to look for alternative drugs or methods.

Experience comes with trials

To become more experienced in the journey called life, it is not enough to just read about other people's failures and successes. You have to do something new yourself, even if it means taking risks.

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