If we allow our mind a free reign we can end up spending a great deal of time thinking about regrets. Regretting things we have said, regretting things we have done or not done. Getting stuck in regret and wishing things to be different can drag you back to the past and take away the enjoyment of living in the moment. When we re-live past events in our mind, we also re-live the pain.
If we want to move beyond a bad habit and are trying to create a new life, one thing that is guaranteed to pull you back into that downward spiral is replaying the regret tape of your life.
Regrets are just another form of thought, a thought from the past dragged forward into the present moment. They stops us letting our life unfold in the present moment with all the beauty and curiosity of a gardening waiting on his flowers to bloom.
Realise that the negative feelings and emotions from past traumatic experiences are no longer true. They are are merely memories, a collection of old, stale thoughts.
We can never change what we did or said in the past because we can’t go travel back in time. Even if by some magic we went back in time we would still be the same person that acted the way we did to the situation that presented itself. You only ever do the best you can with the information and knowledge you have at the time. You can’t go back with the new learning you have gained over the years. Yes, if the same situation arose today you would probably act differently, say different things because you have gained that understanding over years of life experiences. But, the past is gone, it cannot be changed and rummaging around in the dark recesses of your mind will only spoil your enjoyment of today.
The past is gone and like a good book once you have finished it you put it back on the shelf and go and find the next book you want to read. Re-reading the old books of our life story hold us back and stand in the way of living the life you want. Put down your regrets, and walk away it serves you no good living your life tied to the past. Yes, take any the lessons you want from the events, but then let the rest go.
Never go back, there is nothing there for you
How to stop Regret Thoughts before they spiral out of control
- Beating ourselves up about things you have said and done in the past neither solves a problem nor gives you relief from the thought. Recognise it is a thought about the past, “Ah here comes regret – it is just a memory, I’ll let that thought go.
- What happened has happened you cannot go back, like a pawn on a chessboard you can only go in one direction and that is forward. Winter turns to spring, but spring never turns to winter.
- Recognise you are a different person now, you have more knowledge and experience and if anyone else was involved, they too will be different. The stage has changed, you are in a new play. Nothing remains as it was, we change and grow every day. If you must look back then look back as an interested third party, the new you, watching the younger you with curiosity and interest. When we see life from a different perspective then it can change the way we see the situation. Take the learning and let the rest go. We always seem to have an abundance of compassion fro those we love while beating ourselves up as soon as we anything less than perfect. It’s time to cut yourself some slack – Let it go!
- You are living your life right now in this minute. Your life is your responsibility so focus on the future it is where you are going. Be so busy making plans that you have no time for a backward glance.
Do a simple breathing exercise that will keep your mind focused on the moment. Here is one that you can try or use one you already know.
- Sit comfortably and bring your attention to your breathing.
- Get curious about how amazing our breath is, keeping us alive, working 24 hours a day even when we sleep, and we don’t need to help it in any way
- Notice how your breath feels, our breath changes to reflect our mood. How would you describe your breath today?
- Now start to say the words “I am breathing in” pause and as you breathe out “I am breathing out” pause before breathing in again. Say the words in time to your breathing and slow it down
- Do it in rounds of 10, if your mind wonders, just start from number one again in your count
- As you say the words keep focusing on your breathe, remain curious about as it enters the nostrils enters your body and then flows out and away allowing new breath to enter and refresh you.