When you’ve made a mistake, done something you shouldn’t have done or wished you hadn’t done, not done something you wish you had or just behaved a certain way, it’s common to have regrets. You end up self-loathing, feeling guilty, and generally having negative thoughts about yourself. You may have regrets over something like ever having that first cigarette or alcohol drink because that was the start of your addiction. There’s no point dwelling on it though, there’s nothing you can do about it now, all you can do is try to move forward, and if you need to check yourself into an inpatient rehab program to help you to recover, then that is what you must do.
It is the same with any other regret you have, it’s important to move on and not to dwell on things, but that is easier said than done, otherwise people wouldn’t have any regrets in the first place. So what can you do to help you move on?
Learn From It
Whatever it is that you have done and now regret, you need to look for the lessons you can take from it. Take some time to think about what you have learned, how are you feeling, what have you learned about yourself and about others. Are there any patterns that you can see? What have you noticed about your reactions and responses? While you can’t go back in time, there will be new situations that come along in your life that are similar, so if you can learn from this experience, then you can use what you learn this time around to help you in the future. Once you have worked out what you have learned from it as well, you can see the benefits of whatever has happened and look at it in a more positive way.
There’s no point in staying in the past, living with your regrets, and thinking about them over and over. You need to work out how you can move forward and actively do this. If you need support, then get some, speak to people, whether it is friends or family or a professional and let them know how you are feeling about a situation so that you can begin to move forward.
If you can’t forgive yourself, then you won’t be able to move on. Carrying this around with you isn’t harming anyone else but yourself. You are not benefitting from the self-hatred, and no one else is either. Think about what it is that you really want now and focus on that rather than going over the past that you cannot change.
Stop The Negative Talk
When you find yourself thinking negatively about yourself and the situations you regret, then take action. You need to get more aware of those thoughts, and when you catch them, change them. Think of positive things instead or turn those negatives into positives. For example, you could go back to thinking about the lessons you have learned or what positives have come out of what it is you regret. Turn it around, make it a positive, and stop having it hang around your neck. Once you can do that, it will be like a weight lifted, and you will be able to move forward.