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How to Overcome Guilt

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The longer you put off dealing with guilt, the weaker you feel. You feel guilty when you’ve done something wrong. That’s a healthy guilt that keeps your behavior in check.

But when guilt doesn’t come from your own actions, you torture yourself. Follow these steps to deal with your guilt.

 

How to Overcome Guilt

Overcome Guilt

1. Feel the guilt.

The first step in dealing with unpleasant emotions is to let them run through you. They’ll only come back bigger and stronger if you try to ignore the pain.

 

2. Take a break from your guilt and let your subconscious work on it.

Do something relaxing like gardening, sports or something creative.

 

3. Make a list of the things that bother you in all aspects of your life.

Consider what activities give you pleasure and which ones make you feel worse.

 

4. Consider people close to you and how they figure into your guilt.

Be ruthless about identifying toxic relationships.

 

5. Apologize to whomever you hurt, even if it’s been months or years.

Write a detailed letter of regret if it’s no longer possible to make amends in person.

 

6. Seek counseling for the guilt you’re feeling about things that are beyond your control.

Explore issues of low self esteem, perfectionism and anger you’re harboring against anyone who wronged you long ago.

 

7. Make a list.

Make a list of affirmations that can help you in dealing with the guilt like “I’m allowed to be happy,” “I’m allowed to be free” and “I’m allowed to forgive myself.”

 

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep a journal of the process you go through in dealing with your guilt. You’ll have many insights you’ll want to refer to later.
  • Don’t be satisfied in blaming someone else for your guilt even if they’re manipulating you. Explore why you can’t resist their manipulation.

 

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