by Empty Your Cup Relaxation Coach · Filed Under: General Updates · Stress Management · Stress and your Health · Workplace Stress
3 stress relief tips for feeling guilty which will allow you to calm down. We each grow up with a different set of values – our beliefs in what’s right and what isn’t. For some, the result of doing something “wrong” is guilt. You might be familiar with the feeling.
1. How can that be? When I Say “No,” I Feel Guilty
A patient of mine expressed feelings of guilt when she was unable to free up her schedule to baby-sit her grand-daughter. Even though this wonderful woman had helped her daughter many times, in many ways, this one time she was unable to help – and that made her feel guilty.
Don’t forget… your negative emotions…
And that guilt, like all negative emotions, has a corrosive effect on everything associated with the self – the inner you. Guilt lowers self-esteem and distorts self-image. My patient felt that she had done something hurtful even though she was bound by other obligations that prevented her from baby-sitting.
Fact is,… She did nothing wrong?
She did nothing wrong. Her hands were tied, yet she felt guilty. And guilt has a way of feeding on itself. It’s self-propagating, often leading to stress (caused by strained relations with those closest to you) and, ultimately, depression.
We’ve all experienced this phenomenon. We don’t want to let down friends, family, co-workers, neighbors – even total strangers. We have a conscience that directs our actions. We don’t steal because we know it’s wrong. Not because it’s against the law. We control our actions and, in turn, we control how we feel about those actions.
2. Can saying “I’m Sorry” Makes You Stronger?
When we feel guilty, it’s our conscience at work. We think (or know) we’ve done something wrong according to our value system, and the pain of guilt is the result of that realization. There’s only one way to alleviate guilt and the stress it produces. You have to learn to say “I’m sorry.”
Here’s the thing: Is it easy to say “I am sorry?”
Now, that’s not an easy thing for most of us to do. Saying “I’m sorry” indicates that we made a mistake. It diminishes our self-image because apologizing is often viewed as a sign of weakness. We’ve all seen family feuds, or disagreements between friends, continue for years – simply because the parties won’t apologize. That would be a sign of weakness, right?
On the contrary, it’s the strong individual, the person of character, who can admit that he or she has made a mistake.
But guess what? I was” never wrong…”
There was a time in my life when I was “never wrong.” When I hurt a loved one’s feelings, well it wasn’t my fault. I could justify any hurtful thing I did.
It was only later that I discovered that apologizing for a perceived wrong – intended or otherwise – made me a stronger, better and emotionally healthier person. I recognized my imperfections and learned that expressing real sorrow at my mistakes made me feel better. The stress caused by the guilt I carried around disappeared.
3. Here’s the secret… Don’t Live With Guilt…
We all do.
If we have a conscience it’s inevitable that, at times, you’ll feel guilt. You were too brusque with a co-worker, or let down a good friend – again. And your set of values – your conscience – is telling you that it’s time to make amends.
How do you live with guilt?
Don’t live with guilt. When you do something that hurts another, apologize and truly mean it. The first time will be difficult. But, when you discover how a well-meant apology solves both internal and external problems, you’ll quickly see that you’re stronger than you’ve ever been before.
You can admit mistakes, apologize for hurting others, relieve the stress associated with guilt and enjoy a happier, healthier life.
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Cecil McIntosh, The EYC™ Stress Relaxation Expert with 14 years of experience helping Entrepreneurs like you, stay focused, get more done and find more time, so that you can live in the moment. He is a published author of many audio Relaxation Programs using accelerated learning approaches and a Teacher, NLP Trainer and life Coach. You can reach Cecil at firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you want to learn more tips and tools for feeling guilty? Or ** IS YOUR LIFE TOO BUSY … TOO MUCH STRESS? ** Do you want to get twice the results with half the effort? – Split Second Stress Relief
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