To some extent feeling guilty is a natural and normal emotion.
It helps us recognise our mistakes and learn from them.
What isn’t healthy is to feel guilty over trivial things - like turning down a coffee meet up.
Do you feel guilty more than you should?
Do you think it is selfish to say no?
Do you feel guilty if you have not eaten as well as you know you should?
Or even feel guilty for not spending enough time with your family?
These 5 ways will open up your awareness, not only about yourself but the circumstance you are in and being mindful of your thought patterns.
Once we are aware, then the rest is easy stuff!
1. Get an outsiders perspective.
Share your feelings, talk about them, by talking out loud somehow puts things into a new perspective. Although choose who you open up to carefully, you want someone who is non judgemental who won’t chime in with their story alongside yours. Find someone who is just happy to listen (and able to give you a big hug too!)
2. Find out what other people really need.
Yes this is still about you, by finding if your guilt is focused around your children - do a bit of asking. Most of the time we feel guilty because we havent lived up to our own standards! Or instance - you fed the children chicken nuggets again, the second time this week instead of a home cooked meal. Do they worry about it? Would they be happy to have nuggets occasionally. Was it a day when you didn’t have the time to cook from scratch, or do I dare say, you really couldn’t be bothered today! That’s okay!! They got fed. Tomorrow is another day.
3. Any other emotions.
Decide whether there are any other emotions mixed in with your guilt. Feelings travel in herds and can come at you full force. By taking a moment or two to just listen and tune into your guilt you will be able to reveal any other emotions mixed in.
For example, you feel guilty for not doing enough in your business, but also feel frustrated and overwhelmed as you are juggling so many jobs, partner, mum, food shopper, taxi driver, money manager, house cleaner….the list goes on.
4. Let go.
Learn to let go of the past. We all have life’s trip ups - if you can’t move on from a misake it will always leave a bad taste in your mouth. Find a way to let go and express your feelings and get closure. This can be done by journaling, or brain dumping a I like to call it. Settle yourself in a clam place and put your pen to paper and just write whatever comes to mind. You don’t need to worry about spellings or paragraphs, just let it all spill out. It clears out a good amount of room in your head. If you are feeling guilty about a situation you had with somebody, write thema letter, you do’t have to post it to them. By writing them a letter, write how you feel. Seal it up, you can do what you wish to after, put it in the shredder, burn it (in a safe place!) or put it in a drawer.
This one most people struggle with, we all need them though, we need to have our own space so we can recalibrate ourselves.
It is okay to say no!
By recognising your own worth and value or ‘how full your cup is’ first before you make a commitment to another is a form of self care. For instance a friend phones you up and asks if you would go round to let her dog out in the garden as she is working a few overtime hours. Normally you would say yes, but you have had a hell of a day, tired, hungry, the children are squabbling and need food and you have the start of a headache coming on. Do you feel guilty for saying no?
This guilt arises from when you neglect your own needs.
If the other person doesn’t respect your no, that is their problem.
Start small with these suggestions, jumping in with both feet can make you feel even more guilty!!