Feeling guilty about things you have done wrong is actually a good thing. Guilt helps you be more empathic and encourages you to take corrective actions. However, you cannot enjoy relationships and life in general if you do not know how to deal with guilt and actually forgive yourself after taking corrective actions. Not being able to deal with unhealthy guilt can leave you with pain – sometimes for a lifetime. This type of guilt can ruin your life and keep you from enjoying your life to the fullest.
8 Quick Ways to Overcome Guilt
Some people feel that they should feel guilty repeatedly to compensate for what they have done. Condemning yourself all the time is never a healthy thing to do. This type of self-destructive guilt can sabotage your goals and affect your life big time. Here’re some ways that can help you learn how to overcome guilt.
1. Question Your Guilt
Sometimes, you feel guilty for not being able to go along well with others. This is never a good thing. You should only be feeling guilty when you have not treated others properly or have done something wrong with someone you know. Under no circumstances should you be feeling guilty for not doing something others want you to do. So, question your guilt and address it if it is true.
2. Do Not Try to Be Perfect
Nothing in this world is perfect – you can strive for perfection, but you have to settle for what you get after putting in all your effort. To make things perfect, it is natural to place many expectations on yourself and feel guilty when you do not measure up. You will stay where you are today if you let your guilt take over your creativity, and this can happen when you fail to achieve your 'unrealistic' goals. Do not feel guilty when you fail to achieve your goals; instead, accept your failure and address the problems that led to a failure in the first place.
3. Do Not Feel Bad to Apologize
If you have done something wrong to someone around you, it is never too late to apologize, which is one of the most important step for how to overcome guilt. Instead of feeling guilty for what you have done, you should address the problem and apologize. Most of the times, the other person accepts your apology and you manage to let go of your guilt. If an apology can fix it, you should certainly do it and save yourself from living with the burden of guilt.
4. Start Journaling
It is always a good idea to start writing about your life experiences. This helps lower your stress levels since you can let your frustration out without having to worry about others knowing about your secrets. Writing about your guilt may also make you feel better. It helps you understand it in a better way. You can write it and then deal with it. It may also help you determine if your guilt is real and if it really deserves your attention.
5. Reflect on Your Actions to Avoid Similar Problems
To learn how to overcome guilt, you first need to understand the source of your guilt. Once you know the source, you will also know if it is necessary to apologize. Most issues are resolved when you decide to apologize for your actions. However, it is equally important to reflect on your actions and understand what you should avoid in the future to be in the similar situations. People are not going to forgive you if you repeat the same mistakes and then ask for their forgiveness. If you were feeling guilty because you forgot about your friend's birthday, address the source. You should ensure that you remember dates and avoid certain situations that make you do something wrong.
6. Do Something Good
When you do something good for someone, it not only makes the other person feel better but it makes you feel happy too. If you still feel guilty after apologizing and doing everything you possibly could, you should push yourself hard to move forward into a positive future. One way to feel better is to do some good deeds, which will not reverse what you did in the past but will certainly help you mentally and physically. Check with charities, hospitals, and other organizations to find some volunteer opportunities. That time you spend helping others will help you feel better about yourself and make it easier to overcome your guilt.
7. Connect with Your Spiritual Side
Learning how to overcome guilt is important, and one way to do it is to connect with your spiritual side. Some faiths let you use ways to atone for what you have done wrong in life, and this may make you feel better and get over your guilt. Try to be more religious and develop a spiritual practice to relieve feelings of guilt. Research has shown that prayer and spirituality can help you deal with stress and illness in a much better way. You can attend service at a religious house or try other relaxation techniques, such as yoga or meditation to feel better.
8. Seek Professional Help
When you have tried everything possible to overcome your guilt and failed, do not shy away from using a professional's help. A therapist can always help you get past your guilt because they share what you can do to feel better both mentally and physically. They can help you understand your true feelings and the real source of your guilt. They work closely with you and determine the best course of action to help you live a better life again.