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How to let go of regrets

Regret - constantly replaying all these moments, you wished you would have done things differently. Creating imaginary alternative universes in your head to ponder over how your life would’ve looked like if you behaved differently in the past or made a different decision. Only for you to wake up and realize it’s too late now. Time has passed, while you are somehow still hung up in the past.

We all have regrets, a past self we are not proud of - small and big moments we wish to erase from our memories. There are things we would love to tell our younger self not to do, or even a past version of ourselves we desperately want to avoid meeting again, haunted by our past mistakes. 

Yet, the truth is you cannot travel through time. You cannot change the past. The past remains past. All you can do is use the past as a lesson for yourself. A regret eventually is a mistake you have yet to learn a lesson from. It won’t erase all the negative feelings you feel inside, but this will prevent you from making it worse. Everyone makes mistakes, it’s part of being human. So, it’s important to prevent history from repeating itself. 

Try to reflect on why these feelings came up and why you feel regretful about your behavior, decision, or a situation. Think about the circumstances you were in during that time, they might have impacted your behavior, too. Oftentimes we make decisions based on all the information we have, and we couldn’t know it better back then. These thoughts will help you understand where your feelings are coming from and recognize what exactly is not in balance with your conscience. 

Another important thing to remember is that you won’t know for sure whether everything would have turned out better if you had done things differently. People tend to feel regretful about something because it makes them wonder about what they might have instead, what they missed and what opportunities they lost. But along your way to the current present, you accomplished great things too, things you might have not been able to do if you decided differently in the past. You even might have made the same decision or behaved the same way in another situation, if not in the one you currently regret. Ultimately, all your regrets and mistakes have let you become the person you are today. As much as it hurts, it taught you some important life lessons.

So, remember everyone has regrets in life, no one lives a life with no mistakes. Forgive yourself for your past, and try to release all the guilt you feel inside. Accept and learn from your past with all your mistakes so you can finally live in the now. 

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