It's not a happy feeling. Shoulda, woulda, coulda—ever catch yourself repeating these words in the back of your mind?
The truth is, we all do. It's part of being a conscious human being. But we can minimize regret and make choices with more confidence by practicing a few essential techniques.
Look at the Big Picture When Making a Big Decision
When you're about to make a life-changing decision, consider how you'll regard that decision when you're 85 years-old. How do you feel when you imagine the effect this retrosepective look will have on you as a much older and wiser version of your current self. This shift in time is a powerful force. It changes everything. Think about that move abroad you've been considering or the business you want to start up. Chances are you will not regret either one of these choices when you're looking back on your life.
Always Remember that Life is Short
Older people are always telling us this. Because it's true! When we make decisions based upon this truth, we're more apt to make decisions we won't regret. If we always remeber that life is short, we'll make better use of our time, and making time to truly enjoy our lives. We'll also take more chances. Looking back, I've never regretted big chances I took. We're all much more likely to regret those experiences we never had rather than those we did.
The act of worrying is for the most part a large waste of time. Most of us spend far too much time worrying about things that ultimately never happen. This is a common regret for many elderly looking back on their lives. In fact, many say that they wasted much of their lives worrying. Consider this every time, you begin to ruminate with worry. If you need help with this, consider natural supplements that help you acheive a more balanced state of mind like kava or chamomile.
I've always found meditation to be my own private sanctuary for contemplation and reflection. I get really quiet and still. I ask my heart questions and wait for the answers. There are a lot of free online courses on meditation for anxiety that help you to use the tools meditation teaches you to reduce your feelings of regret and restlessness. Meditation as a universal way of reducing anxiety is helpful, but it will especially help you to learn how to live in the moment, which signifcantly helps you to reduce feelings of regret.
We all make mistakes, and you are bound to regret some actions you take in your life. But shifting your perspective and helping yourself with these reminders is a great way to minimize the nagging feelings of regret that plague your life. Take steps to live with less regret so that one day you don't look back and regret how much time you spent regretting!
Photo by Alexander Dummer