There is no such thing as not ever having any regrets. Regrets over past choices can dwell in the subconscious for years. It’s a feeling or thoughts that replay over and over again. More than likely you can’t change your past choice. That doesn’t mean you have to constantly worry about what-ifs and should-haves, though. Regrets are the perfect opportunity to learn from your mistakes.
* You are only human – Keep in mind everyone makes mistakes. Forgive yourself – and then move on. Know that you made the choice you thought was right for you at the time. In the future you will be better prepared for making decisions.
* Learn from your mistake – Identify what the mistake was and what caused you to make that decision. Did you make a quick choice without weighing your options? Were you trying to please someone else? Once you know why you made that choice, you can focus on doing it differently from now on.
* Focus on what you can control – Cheating on your boyfriend wasn’t a good choice. Unfortunately you can’t change that. What you can do is move forward from where you are.
* Accept the blame for your choice – This is especially healing if your choice hurt others as well.
* Challenge the way you think – Realize that the choice you regret making is a step towards going in the right direction in the future. Mistakes can often present challenges we don’t think we’re prepared to deal with. But in reality those challenges are moving you into new opportunities.
* Employ the use of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) – CBT is a type of exercise therapy that teaches you to change your habits and patterns of thinking. It can help you change your feelings of regret or shame, and instead focus on emotionally healing the harmful thoughts.
* Write down your regrets – Ask yourself why you chose that option. List the questions you keep asking yourself. This helps you overcome those feelings that are keeping you stuck or revisiting your choice.
* Use regret as a way to make changes – Recognize when your regrets can be used to change or improve yourself. When you are faced with new choices, you can use the regrets as a way to help you make better choices.
* Start fresh – It’s never too late to start again. You can’t change the decisions you’ve already made but you can learn to make better choices in the future.
Constantly revisiting and regretting choices you’ve made in the past can cause you to be stressed and feel anxious. It can lead to depression and worrying about any decisions you make in the future. Let go of the regrets. Learn how to leave them in the past and to make better decisions that won’t lead to regrets in the future.
“Stay away from what might have been and look at what can be.” ~ Marsha Petrie Sue