We all are very much aware of the feeling of guilt. More or less, everyone in this world has felt it in a way or another. However, it affects people on different levels and in different ways. As we all have faced it sometimes in our life, it isn’t worth thinking about. But, people sometimes get worked up in guilt and work according to the emotion they are feeling.
Guilt shapes their expressions, their perceptions, and everything. It is a traumatic experience, and nobody deserves to feel that way. Let’s indulge in the discussion about how to get rid of guilt and feel calm from within.
Before we get into the discussion about how to cope up with guilt, we need to know what is guilt.
What is guilt?
According to psychologists, guilt is the emotional bondage that makes you feel discomfort whenever you think that you are responsible for something that hurt or offended someone else.
Most of the time, the person who is feeling guilt should not feel it because they haven’t hurt the person, and everybody is responsible for their own emotions.
Guilt can be valid – you may have hurt someone, and you regret your actions or words, causing you to feel guilty. However, there are times when the feelings are not in your hand – you might have been feeling guilty for something you didn’t do or something you did that was justified and valid.
Does guilt affect your health and well-being?
Guilt is a medical symptom that creeps you up from the inside. As someone who has lived his life with guilt, I must say that it hurts and affects our mental and physical health. People who feel guilty always try to please others and often overlook their own health, resulting in burnout.
Severe and long-term guilt can make you depressed and suicidal. Guilt feeling shapes a person’s mind in a way that they don’t speak up and live in constant fear.
Ways to become free of guilt
I recently read a book “How to Stop Feeling Guilty” and it has helped me a lot. I recommend you all to read this book. Here are my major learning from this book:
Talk about it
Guilt is a fear of past failures of responsibilities. Also, people sometimes feel guilty for things they haven’t done. To solve the problem, I think it’s best to talk it out.
If you talk with the person or the group of people openly about how you feel about your past mistakes, they might give you another chance.
Also, they can understand you better. Always remember, forgiveness starts with being honest and opening up.
Even if you have done something wrong, please stop blaming yourself. You have already faced so much guilt that you don’t deserve any more pain.
To get rid of the guilt, you have to accept yourself in the first place. Forgive yourself, remind yourself that whatever has happened, you are not at fault.
Acceptance is the first step to the healing process. You have to accept yourself to let other people accept you.
Try to change; if not, move on
If you are at fault, you can try to change the situation by doing something nice. You can apologize genuinely to the person and ask them to forgive you. Remember that asking for forgiveness is a good thing.
Still, if the person doesn’t accept your apology, you have nothing to do. You should walk away from that situation and try to move on in your life. People make mistakes, all of them. A single mistake doesn’t make you a bad person.
If you cannot change the situation, it would be wise to walk away from that situation.
Write/talk about it
You know, according to almost all therapists, writing is a therapeutic process. If you have apologized to the person and still feeling guilt, you should take a journal and write down how you feel.
Not a single day, but do it regularly. Whenever you feel the guilt is coming back to your mind, write it down. You will be able to process your thoughts more rationally.
If you don’t want to write, you can talk to a friend who will listen to you. Vent out what’s bothering you. It will help you with the guilt trip.
In any mental breakdown or guilt trip, you should practice mindfulness to get over it. Whenever the guilt strikes you back, just accept the fact and sit down.
Take deep breathes and think of a happy memory. Also, you can practice meditation. It will help you to accept yourself as you are.
Few Final Words
I can understand what guilt feels like and how it can make your life miserable. I have tried to give you some tips to help you get over it. If the problem is more serious, please go see a professional who will help you get rid of guilt and lead a happy life.