We are all trying to live the best life we can, but along the way there will always be bumps and obstacles trying to stop us from that. These can come in any form, whether personal or professional, and it’s the choices we make that dictate the future of our situation. And let’s face it – we don’t always make the best choices. Sometimes we make impulsive decisions without seeing the long term consequences; or take too long to make a decision, which leaves us desperate for an outcome. Whatever it is, we can all agree that there is no rulebook for life.
When we make bad decisions we are suddenly faced with regret (can you think of the last time you had buyer’s regret?), and the ramifications of regret can be extreme, from a few days, up to years of depression and “what- if ” thoughts. No one is an expert on it because we all deal with regret differently. Here are a few suggestions of how we deal it, to become happier people.
1. Don’t be so hard on yourself
Easier said than done! Before or after we make decisions, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to make the best decisions we can, especially after we’ve already made a bad move. It’s easy to kick yourself, but it’s not helping you get anywhere. Think about all the good things you’ve done in your life and remember how many obstacles you’ve overcome already. After that, you should be able to be a bit more gentle on yourself!
2. Take it slow
When I’m having a bad day I just remember the last words my grandfather told me – “take it slow.” After living a full life, how could I argue with him. And he’s right. When you are in a state of regret, your mind is overstimulated from “what- if ” situations and your brain is like a Japanese speed train. Take a few deep breaths and remember that life is long, and you can survive this little bump in the way
3. Everything is temporary
A great mantra for overcoming a currently unfortunate case of events is to remind yourself constantly that everything is temporary. Whether you like it or not, life is full of ups and downs. Surely it’s not difficult for you to remember the last time you felt great – and likewise the last time you didn’t feel so great. Already you can recognize that all bad times have a happy ending. Eventually, everything will clear up. So just hang in there, positive change is on it’s way!
4. Be more social
Although on most days you’ll want to crawl back into bed and watch TV all afternoon, regret does not go away when you’re trapped alone in your house. You need to shower, put some clothes and makeup on, and go see your friends. Don’t be afraid to send out a few texts asking what everyone is up to tonight or on the weekend. You might be feeling down, but your friends are still just that – your friends. They’re even there for you. Imagine! So join a guys/girls night, Share some laughs, forget about the stress, and soon you’ll find the dark clouds clearing the way for sunnier days.
5. Think ahead
This is so important I cannot stress it enough. At this stage in our life we’ve all had a few slip ups; if you haven’t, please tell us your secret. As hard as we have tried, we have learned that you cannot go back in time. There is no secret but ton to return to a less regrettable time and change our decisions. You must think ahead. Put all your positive energy and strength into improving your current situation, what you are left with after your decision making. You made those decisions for a reason – now it’s time to regroup your pride and energy and focus it onto the brilliant future. We’ve survived before – we’ll do it again!
6. Be grateful
There’s no better time to remind yourself of how fortunate yo u are, than when you are grieving about regret. No matter how far in you are, you can surely bring a smile to yourself through a little bit of gratitude. Consider the tablet you are using to read this on, the phone you are receiving texts with, the car you’re stuck in traffic in, and the cozy home you have to sleep in at night. We have food, water and shelter. No matter how poor of a choice you made or what kind of regret you are bearing, remember, it’s not so bad! We have a quality life that billions of people in the world dream of having. Let that put a smile on your face; instead of thinking of what you’re missing, say a prayer and be thankful for what you have.