Guilt is difficult to describe, but we all feel it. You might feel guilty for a thought you've had or something you've done. While we think guilt is a bad thing, it can actually be a good thing too.
Guilt lets us know when we have done something wrong. You know what I am talking about. That uneasy feeling that sits at the bottom of your stomach. Yeah, that one.
The problem is when let your guilt make you feel miserable. It can make you worried and really upset. The good news is you can teach yourself to stop feeling extremely guilty.
There are two different types of guilt. Healthy guilt is where you say you have done something wrong, and you use it to improve your relationships and how you act by:
Fixing the damage you’ve done
Not repeating the same mistake twice
Accepting your mistake and moving on on
Unhealthy guilt is when you feel guilty for things that are imaginary or beyond your control. It can be hard to deal with, but you can manage your feelings by:
Understanding what you can and can't control
Challenging yourself to be better next time
Looking at the positive aspects of the situation
Standing up to people who make you feel guilty
Realise not everything is up to you to fix
There's no magical way to fix feeling too guilty. Overcoming it takes practice and consistent emotional work. To overcome guilt, you need to think about and recognise a few things. But first, start by asking yourself questions like, “What is making me feel guilty?” and “What am I thinking and doing because of my guilt?”.
Making positive thinking a habit can help overcome guilt. Note how you’re talking to yourself when you feel guilty. Are you saying things like “I should see my mom more” or “I could stop eating much so chocolate”?
Well, try turn “I should” or “I could” to something more positive, like “I get to”, “I deserve” or “I can”. For example, “I get to see my mom more” or “I can stop eating so much chocolate”
Once you have done that, try making a list of what you feel guilty about. Using that list, you can try to:
Write a letter to someone who made you feel guilty
Help others to make you feel less guilty about an issue you care for
Think about what makes you feel guilty differently so you can learn from it to help you move forward
While everyone's guilt is different, you are not alone in feeling guilty. Speaking about your guilt can open the doors to forgiveness, healing and relief.
If you are still feeling unsure, we have to some resources that will help.
Change your perspective and uncover a way forward for you!
Emotions! Making Sense of Your Feelings by Mary Lamia, PhD
This will help you understand your emotions and who you are, how you appear to others, and what you can be. While your emotional life may feel out of control, your emotions are valuable. It's time to figure just what your emotions are telling you!
Matilda by Roald Dahl
Sweet and bright little Matilda, a child of wondrous intelligence, is different from the rest of her family. Because she is so smart her family is mean to her.
Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling This book follows a spunky girl born without arms and a boy with Tourette syndrome navigating the challenges of middle school, disability, and friendship.
Kayla Day, is in the eighth grade. She is introverted but also posts videos about self-confidence online. Soon, she realises she is not the person she is pretending to be and has to accept that.
Onward Two elven brothers, set out on an epic adventure to resurrect their late father for a day. But in the youngest brother has to accept himself first.
Inside Out Eleven-year-old Riley moves cities, leaving her life behind. She and her five core emotions, Fear, Anger, Joy, Disgust and Sadness, struggle to cope with her new life.
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