If we feel guilty it is normally because we have done or said something to harm someone else.
We experience healthy guilt and unhealthy guilt.
Healthy guilt - forgetting a friends birthday - this guilt alerts you to something you failed to do that may affect your relationship with that person.
Unhealthy guilt - If you are scheduled to work and can't take time off for a birthday party - feeling guilty when you don't need too as it is not serving a purpose.
Identify what you are feeling guilty about? Determine if it is healthy or unhealthy.
Write about your guilt so you can understand it and start to deal with it. - How did it made you feel and why? What should you feel guilty about?
Determine if you need to apologise for your actions - take full responsibility and don't make excuses for yourself.
Reflect on the situation to prevent similar situations in the future. This will help you grow from experience rather than keep on making the same mistakes.
Feeling guilty may cause you to think guilty thoughts which are unproductive and do not provide you with anything that you can apply to your future behaviour. Change your guilt into gratitude.
Forgive yourself like you would a friend, this is important so you can learn how to deal with guilt. Forgive yourself if you make a mistake.
Remember each day is a new beginning and an opportunity to have a fresh start. While your actions may be wrong they DO NOT dictate your future or control the rest of your life.
Do a good deed, offer as much help as the person who receives it. However good deeds do no not reverse your actions. They will help you move forward into a positive future. Helping others has a wide range of benefits including your mental and physical health.
Some faiths offer peace into your life and can help you with feelings of guilt. Research has shown that spirituality may even help relieve stress and decrease healing times during an illness
- Consider going to a place of worship to pray with other people
- Get into meditation or yoga
- Spend time in nature and admire the beautiful natural world