Regret can keep you from enjoying life. Whether you wished you had taken better care of your health or learned a second language, the emotional toll can be overwhelming. Fortunately, there are Mindful steps that you can take for letting go of regrets and focus on the positive things in life. Though we are all different, many of us have the same regrets in life, like not standing up to a bully or not trusting our instincts. But what do people regret the most?
In a Northwestern University study, the most common regrets were missed love connections (20 percent), family fights (16 percent), and education (13 percent). While many younger people may have experienced these regrets, on our deathbeds we may have different ones. An Australian nurse, Bronnie Ware, recorded her observations on what her dying patients regretted most. Three of her patients top regrets were not having courage to live a life true to themselves, not having the courage to express their feelings, and not staying in touch with friends.
Holding on to these feelings can lead to serious health complications. Experts have found that regret leads to stress, depression, poor quality of life, and self-destructive behaviors like substance abuse. To truly live a happy and positive life it’s important to let go of regret.
Here are three Mindful tips for letting go of regret :
Analyze and meditate
Take time to reflect on the negative emotions behind your regret. Anger and sadness are common emotions that one feels, and unfortunately, these emotions can keep you from truly learning from your past mistakes. Meditating and removing the hurt from the regret can help you grow from the experience.
Be inspired by others
Everyone makes mistakes and many people are able to grow from the experience. Let these people be your mindful role models and your source of inspiration¾whether they are a friend or an admired celebrity.
Let your regret work for you
In an another Northwestern University study, researchers found that though regret is a negative emotion it is viewed more favorably than unfavorably by people. People view regret favorably, because it motivates them to make changes. You can use your regret to set new goals and make changes.