Feeling guilty all the time can keep you from living your life. It’s a horrible feeling to have to live with, especially if it’s all you ever think about. Even if you try to stop feeling guilty, the emotion still continues to stick with you. Whether or not you’re truly responsible for what happened, it can be difficult to forgive yourself.
Do you want to know how to get rid of guilt once and for all? If so, you’ll be glad to know that it’s possible. However, you must stick with the proper steps. You can go on with your life and gain renewed trust if you do the following:
1. Determine why you’re feeling guilty in the first place. Write down all of your thoughts about what happened, and whether or not you’re the one who is truly to blame. Sometimes nobody is to blame at all. Unhealthy guilt is a feeling that you did something wrong even when you didn’t. For example, if you wanted to do something harmless for yourself and somebody else gets angry or hurt over it, you shouldn’t allow yourself to feel guilty. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to do something, just as long as your intentions were pure.
However, if you really did do something wrong, then you are experiencing healthy guilt. In this case, you must truly take responsibility for your actions and learn from your mistakes in order to move on.
2. If you determine that you did indeed do something wrong, the next step is to think about it and why you did it. How would you rate what you did on a scale from one to ten? Whom did you hurt? How much guilt do you feel for hurting this person? In order to stop feeling guilty, you need to have a clear idea of how much trouble you caused. The fact that you feel bad for what you did is a good sign. Now, you need to figure out how to make amends.
3. Think about what you’re going to do. How will you make amends? Will a simple apology suffice? Or will the individual whom you hurt require much more? Think about when and where to meet them, and how to take action. Will they agree to meet you, or will you have to wait until they’re ready? Whatever you do, don’t try to run away from what you did. Seek help from friends and relatives if you have to. Explain that you are truly sorry and wish to make it up to the person you hurt, and see if anyone is willing to help you do so.
4. Once you are ready to make amends, don’t forget to forgive yourself. Don’t beat yourself up over it – you will never be able to stop feeling guilty if you can’t get over what happened. How can you expect the person you hurt to forgive you when you can’t even do it yourself? If you have a lot of pent up anger inside of you, try meditation or yoga. You can also rationalize your thoughts in a journal.
Getting through this part of life will take time, but you can do so if you really want to. Following the aforementioned steps will help you feel a lot better.
Another viable option is checking out an audio book that comes highly recommended. It’s called Stop Feeling Guilty – Forgive Yourself, by Erick Brown. I was sent a copy a long time ago by a friend and I have to say… I’m a fan.
When it comes to feeling less guilty, sometimes you need to tell yourself over and over that you REALLY ARE free from the emotion. This audio book makes it easy by reinforcing the mindset with simple advice and rationale. Check it out here.