We’ve all experienced the emotion of guilt, and the accompanying feelings of regret and shame that come with it. Guilt makes us have obsessive thoughts, makes us withdraw from the world and makes us self-critical and cruel to ourselves. Guilt is a natural emotion to feel when one regrets their actions or words but it shouldn’t be so powerful that it makes you sick. There really is no function or benefit to drowning ourselves in guilt since we can’t change what has transpired in the past. What we do have control over is how we take the experience and learn from it so we act differently in the future. Prolonged guilt can led to and / or worsen depression and anxiety so it needs to be addressed immediately.
If you are experiencing guilt, ask yourself these questions:
1) Why am I feeling guilty? What has happened to make me feel this way?
2) How much time have I spent feeling guilty?
3) Has my guilt resulted in me being critical and perhaps abusive to myself? Am I punishing myself needlessly?
4) Has feeling guilty brought anything positive to this situation?
5) What thoughts and behaviour can I change to help me rid myself of guilt (a thought record can help with this question)?
Enjoy the snowy day!