Regret is harmful to your personal growth, happiness, and health. Focusing on things you are regretful for also takes away from the moment, which can cause more regret in the future. There are many things you can do to minimize the amount of regret you have to deal with in your life.
1. Get Productive
A lot of regret stems from not doing what we want to do. Between things we have to do and things we want to do, things we have to do usually take precedence. That means that things we want to do, such as build positive habits, take time out for ourselves, start a new business, or anything else can get pushed to the back burner day after day, month after month. That results in a lot of regret over what could have been. Being productive can help you fit everything you have to do and want to do into your life.
2. Find Balance
Exercise, work, relaxation, quality time with family or friends, spiritual growth, personal growth, and mental growth are all aspects of life that are important. While you may require more of one aspect than your friend, it is important to make sure you feel you are living life with a good balance to minimize the amount of regret you feel in the future.
For instance, if you focus too much on exercise, and not enough on the rest of relationships, then you are going to feel out of balance and have regrets later on when those relationships aren’t there for you to enjoy anymore.
3. Get Rid Of Unhelpful Things And People
You would think that getting rid of friends, quitting jobs, and getting rid of old things would leave you with more regret, not less, but the truth is that getting rid of unhelpful things in your life can save you a lot of regret over wasted time and energy.
For instance, a friend I made at the age of 18 started to become more egotistical as we aged. I held on to the friendship until the age of 25, which was way past its expiry date. I spent years being miserable as my friend took advantage of me and made me feel bad, and I regret not ‘breaking up’ with her sooner and spending my time doing more fun things.
When you eliminate negative and unhelpful things and people in your life, you make more room for positive and helpful things and people, and minimize the chance of feeling regretful over wasted time.
4. Get Clear On Your Positive Beliefs
Negative beliefs drag you down and ruin your life. I’m not being dramatic here! Your beliefs determine how your day is going to go, what choices you are going to make, and even what you are going to see throughout your day.
For instance, one person who believes in the power of love will see love in every situation they look at while another person who believes that love is non-existent will not see an ounce of love in the same situations.
If you don’t want to wake up one day later in life with new, more positive beliefs, and regret years of negative beliefs that held you back from seeing all the life had to offer, then it’s time to work on getting clear about what your positive beliefs are and which ones you want to develop.
5. Think Before You Speak Or Act In A Negative Tone
Taking the time to think before you act or speak when you are angry, sad, or hurt, will help you minimize regrets in your life. When we act off emotions, irrational and hurtful behavior is often the result. Once you say or do something, you can’t take it back. It’s there. It’s done. It’s in your past. And, it can cause a lot of regret. It is best to let negative emotions cool down before you do anything, which could take a few minutes, hours, or even a good night’s sleep.