Free Yourself from Guilt
Feelings of guilt are a natural part of the human condition. Guilt is an important tool that helps us to learn right from wrong as we grow into adults, by letting us see how our words and behaviour affect others.
Extreme guilt, however, can be at the heart of anxiety, stress and other mental health challenges, and can be unhealthy and all-consuming. If the guilt remains long after the event that caused it, or if you experience constant feelings of guilt, it’s time to let go and free yourself from it.
Find the source
Guilt comes when we feel that we have betrayed our own standards of right and wrong. These can originate from childhood, based on the values of families and education, or come later in life from our relationships or jobs. If you can isolate the source of your excessive guilt, it becomes easier to control.
Work it out
If you are feeling guilty, it is a good idea to look at the situation objectively, to ascertain whether it is healthy or unhealthy guilt. If you have forgotten a friend’s birthday, for example, it is perfectly natural to feel a pang of remorse. Once you have rectified the situation, the guilt should stop. Each time that you experience guilt, ask yourself:
These three questions will lead you to a sense of peace with regard to the event.
Adjust your standards
Often, we feel guilty about the way that we live our lives, comparing ourselves to others with regard to work, our homes, our parenting or relationships. We worry about what other people might think of us, and hold ourselves to ridiculously high standards. Perfectionism is extremely restrictive, and social media may be a factor in the pursuit of it, as it causes us to compare our lives to others. If you need to, try to lessen your time on social media to help regain some balance, and remember that people are only showing the positive, edited version of their lives.
Use positive affirmations daily to improve your self confidence and reduce guilt.
‘I am enough’
‘I am kind’
‘I am free from extreme guilt’
‘I always do my best for myself and others’
Using the present tense makes the affirmations extremely powerful.
If you feel that you have done or said something that has upset somebody, the first stage to free yourself from guilt is to apologise. A simple apology from the heart can go a long way to heal a rift, and most people will appreciate it. If you feel that you cannot apologise face to face, a hand written letter is a good alternative.
On occasion, the person to whom we wish to apologise is no longer with us. It is still enormously freeing to speak to them as if they could hear you, or write a letter explaining how you feel.
An important part of the process of freeing yourself from guilt is learning from your experience. You cannot change the past, but you can change your future behaviour. If you genuinely try your hardest to do the right thing in every situation, guilt is a futile and damaging emotion that will hold you back from happiness.
Embrace kind words
Excessive guilt often causes us to speak to ourselves in a negative way. Talk to the people that love you, and try to talk to yourself in the same way. Write down what they say and read the words regularly. Quieten any disagreements in your mind. Writing about times that you have experienced guilt is a great way to express yourself, and to process your feelings in a healthy way. Use a journal to get it all down onto paper.
The most important part of the process, is to allow yourself to move forward with your life. Good luck on your journey!
Please feel free to post a comment below.
All the best,
P.S. My hypnotherapy / hypnosis recordings can help you free yourself from guilt. Download these recordings now! These titles are also available as iPhone, iPad and Android apps. Download these recordings now!