Living a life without regrets and being fair and kind to yourself is possible by following a few strategies.
Last update: 18 November 2021
Regret usually appears in response to the discrepancy between decisions and expectations. In other words, we have a regret when something doesn't go according to plan, when we make a mistake and, above all, when we miss opportunities. Is it possible to live with fewer regrets?
For example, regret can manifest itself when our decisions should have been based on more rigorous moral criteria or that we should have directed our actions to fulfill some social duty. Likewise, when you haven't had the courage to make decisions that involve risks.
It seems inevitable to experience this feeling at some point in our life. However, if we consider the strategies proposed in this article, it is possible to live with fewer regrets and feelings of guilt.
Strategies for living with fewer regrets
1. Love and accept yourself
Letting regret build up can be a reflection of a tendency to judge yourself too harshly. We all make mistakes, and that doesn't disqualify us as human beings. We must try to be kind to ourselves, as we are to others, and not keep thinking about what cannot be changed.
Le our decisions were based on the information available to you at that time. Today we may have more experience and think more clearly. This could lead us to think that we should have acted differently.
However, it must be borne in mind that the person of today was formed thanks to those decisions that we may regret. Accepting oneself also means accepting versions of one's past "I".
2. Live in the present
The sense of guilt derived from regret, as a limitation and lasting over time, is usually associated with a harmful link with the past and with the future that could derive from having made other decisions. Hence, it is the present that is excluded from our mind when we scold ourselves.
Living in the present and enjoying the simple moments of everyday life can be useful to break this harmful relationship with the past. If we don't, we will regret missing special moments of our day in the future.
3. Express your emotions
Learning to express our emotions will allow us to share with others how feelings of regret affect us. This can allow us to receive the support necessary to overcome the negative perceptions associated with this sense of failure and guilt.
On the other hand, knowing how to express emotions and desires in time helps to live without regrets. Telling our friends, family or partners how much we love them and how important they are to us will foster healthier and longer lasting relationships. Likewise, expressing one's gratitude will make us more aware of our surroundings and to be at peace with ourselves.
It is equally important to express anger or displeasure, always in an assertive and respectful way. Many times our regrets come from situations in which we act on what others expected and not from exercising our autonomy. Learning to say "no" is an essential part.
4. Learn to take risks to live with fewer regrets
A recurring reason for the guilt that generates regret is having missed opportunities for fear of taking risks. The fear of failure often leads us into a state of inaction that leads only to conformity, passivity and apathy.
It is normal to want to avoid risks and always take the safest routes. However, there are times when it is worthwhile to dive deep into a situation and risk taking action. Some, however, may conceal an opportunity.
In this case it can also be important to receive support and advice from loved ones to adopt different perspectives and make the decision that best matches your wishes. On top of that, daring with the new (activities, meals, movies, etc.) will fill our lives with enriching experiences.
5. Evaluate your own results
Probably if we compare what we regret with what we are proud of, we realize that we have made very wise decisions at different times in our life. We have made mistakes, like everyone else, but even those have allowed us to become what we are today.
6. Sense of humor to live with fewer regrets
We should always remember that many situations that go wrong eventually turn into anecdotes or points that can show the value of our growth. Being able to laugh at your mistakes in many cases will make us more aware of them and help us overcome them. The positive use of humor is linked to sociability, affection and openness to novelty.