Four Ways to Overcome the Dreaded Guilt

February 17, 2013

Our lives are filled with many emotions. Guilt, a real big one, might just be one of the top energy zappers and causes of depression. Outside of the easily identifiable emotions, such as happiness and sadness, we can often times find ourselves filled with guilt. Guilt for things we’ve said and done, and also guilt for the things that we haven’t done. Our lives are jam-packed. Our schedules seem to be booked solid from morning to night. Sometimes, we feel that there’s not enough time to do the things that really matter or that are important to you or your loved ones. Then, the dreaded guilt sets in. You feel guilty for missing a lunch with your sister or your child’s school play, and that feeling begins to eat away at you. It’s normal, it’s natural, it happens to everyone! But is it really necessary? Sure, a guilty conscience can keep us in check if we’re not making the best decisions in life, but let’s leave it at that and move on. This week, let’s overcome these feelings of guilt and get down to the bottom of the reasons we feel this way and replace them with some positive, life-altering suggestions to strive for a more guilt-free existence.

1. Accept. Learning to accept what you can’t change is a big first step. There are just some things in your life that, at least for the time being, are unable to be changed, and should be your priorities. These are different for everyone. Maybe these current priorities are your job, your kids, or your aging parents; whatever they are, they are your commitments. Become clear with what is truly a priority in your life and learn that it’s okay to let go of the other things.

2. Organize. Organize your values and make commitments to what is really important to you. Make a list of things that you’d like to spend your time doing, and then rank them. Divvy up your time accordingly.

3. Let go of what truly isn’t important to you. Cut out activities or events that aren’t really serving your highest and greatest good. If there are things that you’re participating in that zap your energy and kill your drive, try eliminating them from your schedule and notice the changes.

4. Be present. Make the most of the time you have. The greatest gift you can give your loved ones is your full attention. If you are spending time with your kids or family, really be there with them. Disconnect from technology, and give one hundred percent to what you are doing in the moment.

How have you gotten over guilt in the past? What can you do in your life this week to make some time for things that really matter to you?

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