In this mental health topic, we discuss guilt and how it can be a barrier to living with health and wellbeing. As always, seek professional help from your allied health professional or reach out to me if you require support.
Mental Health Topic – How to Free Yourself from Guilt
Whether or not you think you actually “deserve” the guilt you harbor inside you, it’s never a healthy emotion to hold onto. In fact, it is self-depreciating and can lead to more serious problems down the track if you don’t deal with it head on.
Guilt Is Not Always Bad
Guilt can be a great motivator for you to correct something in your life that needs correcting, and once you’ve found a resolution, you’ll begin to feel more at peace.
However, in some cases there will be unresolved guilt lurking in the background which needs to be resolved. If not, this is when the emotion can be consuming leading to unhappiness and unhealthy choices until you get to the bottom of it all and find inner peace.
Once you learn how to properly release these harmful emotions, you’ll feel like a tremendous weight has been lifted from your shoulders.
Why Do You Feel Guilty?
When you want to free yourself from guilt, you first need to identify the reason why you feel the way you do. Some of the most common causes of guilt include,
- You feel responsible for something bad that has happened to you or someone else.
- You never did or say something important to someone, and now you’ll never get the chance.
- You feel obligated to do something for someone for the wrong reasons.
- You’re not accepted by others or think the thoughts you’re having are wrong.
- You’ve breached your moral code or values in some way.
Resolving Your Guilt
Once you’ve identified the reasons why you feel guilty, it’s time to come to terms with the situation. If you continue living in a cycle of guilt, it won’t be helping anyone, especially not you.
Here are some tips that can help you resolve your guilt:
- Leave the past in the past. If you’ve done something wrong, you must come to the realization that you can’t change the past. Do what you can to make amends, learn from the situation, and then move on. That’s all you can do!
- Fix the problem. If you can fix the problem that’s making you feel guilty, then fix it as soon as possible. Beyond this, feeling guilty does not serve any purpose. Do what you can to overcome the situation and then release your guilty conscience.
- Try not to be so hard on yourself. This may be easier said than done but you need to adjust your expectations to make them more realistic. If you’ve really given the situation your best shot and there’s nothing else you can do, give yourself a break!
- Talk to others about the problem. Perhaps a trusted friend has been through a similar situation. If so, ask them about how they handled the situation and how you can make things better. If not, seek professional help from a qualified allied health professional or a mental health life coach.
- Forgive yourself. It’s in our human nature to make mistakes. After all, no one is perfect. Make a conscious effort to forgive yourself until your guilt is released.
Decide For Yourself
Unfortunately there will be people who may try to bring you down and make you feel unnecessarily guilty. Some of these people may even be close to you. Make the conscious decision to disallow this kind of behaviour, it’s not acceptable. Strive instead for the confidence and awareness within you to prevent others from forcing guilty feelings onto you. This is a choice you can make!
If you need support, please reach out. I’m a qualified mental health life coach with lived experience in mental illness, specifically complex PTSD and depression. My contact email is email@example.com or you can visit https://adammedaglia.com/contact/ and I will be in touch.
Adam Medaglia. Mental Health Life Coach. Author of WARRIOR: How I Defeated PTSD