Pressing That Snooze Button? Over eating even when you are not hungry? Having that extra sweet or chocolate? Getting angry on your child or family? Not following a healthy routine? OR Not going to gym? Taking wrong decisions in rage?
GUILT or REGRET is one of the counterproductive emotions that can seriously damage our overall wellbeing in the long run. It clutters our thoughts and creates self doubt.
The solution to this may sound simple, stop feeling guilty. But it is not that easy. Because not feeling guilty is too much difficult. Especially when you have done certain things that you consider as wrong. Or when you have done something that negatively impacts people around you.
In such circumstances the environment inside you and outside you is such that you will feel guilty. And if you try to suppress your guilt then it may express in some other more crocked form.
So in order to address this let us understand
WHY SOMEONE FEELS GUILTY?
Different emotions play different role in our life. They are there either in dormant form or in expressive form. But they are there in everyone’s body & mind.
And these emotions are for a reason. Guilt is specifically developed over a period of time. It is developed so that we can learn and evolve into a better living being.
When we do certain things, that leads to unfavourable outcomes, we feel regret. So that next time when we face a similar situation, we can remember how the outcome of such action was counterproductive last time. And this time we can take some other actions into consideration.
So just like all other emotions guilt is also for our wellbeing. The problem is when our actions become repetitive and we don’t learn and implement. We keep on repeating same mistakes again & again.
So in order to understand how to stop feeling guilty and how to stop doing things that make us feel guilty later, we need to first understand the qualities of actions we take on daily basis.
TYPES OF ACTIONS
Whatever action we take it is either a RESPONSE or a REACTION. Whether the action is internal, that is our thoughts or decisions we take or whether the action is external, that is, what we do or what we say, it is either a REACTION or a RESPONSE.
WHAT IS A REACTION?
Reaction is something what we can say as, an immediate action. It is highly essential for short term survival. Whenever there is an immediate threat, our body & mind executes certain actions that save us from that threat. Such actions can be considered as reaction.
For example, when you see a car rushing at you, you will immediately sprint off the road, without thinking. You won’t analyse which direction is safe for you to run; you’ll just run instantly to whichever direction you can.
This tendency is developed over millions of years. In our journey from a single cellular organism to homo sapiens, this reactive tendency is ingrained very deeply within us.
WHAT IS A RESPONSE?
Response is something that we can say, a thoughtful action. It is highly essential for long term survival. Whenever the threat is at a distance, our mind plans and analyzes the situation and this can be considered as a response.
For example, someone suddenly realize that he or she has developed a tumour, and it is in the initial stages. Under proper guidance the person can properly analyse and plan the entire treatment to cure the disease.
This tendency of intellectually analysing and researching is also developed in a very long span of time. It is because of this tendency that we human beings have become the most dominant living organism on planet earth.
Reaction and response are absolutely necessary and are extremely productive when done at appropriate situations. Problem arises when we respond where we need to react and we react when we need to respond.
For example, you are busy doing some work at your home. But suddenly a family member, your mother, child or wife comes to ask you something. And because you got disturbed in the task that you are doing, that require a lot of focus, you scream at the person. This is the classic example of reacting instead of responding. Instead you could have asked the person nicely in advance, to not disturb you.
Another example, you are already late for a meeting. Now instead of rushing toward the meeting, you are trying to be calm & calculative. This is a classic example of responding where you need to react.
Once we react when we need to respond and we respond when we need to react, it is then that we start feeling guilty. Blaming someone for our own faults, getting fearful and agitated under critical situations, getting so much addicted to certain things that if we don’t get it we become restless, blindly following someone, getting too much attached to the people who actually don’t care about you as much as you do, having blind faith on someone you don’t know completely, screaming at kids & family out of frustration, being upset about certain criticism, etc are all examples of wrong actions. That is we respond where we need to react and we react where we need to respond.
Such wrong actions lead us to guilt and regret. And even then we can learn & adapt. But problem is that we keep on repeating the same patterns again and again. And then it becomes our habit. Many times it becomes our pattern or second nature.
We do things that we feel later guilty of because at the moment it becomes compulsive to react it in such a way. And it is generally because you have done it so many times that it is now ingrained in your body & mind to react or respond in a particular way.
If once you click that snooze button and go ward off, your body remembers it. And next time when that alarm bell rings it is likely that you’ll hit the snooze button again. If once you take that slice of pizza, it is likely you’ll take other one. If once you scream at your children it is likely you’ll do it again.
Because in a way your body & minds sees it fit to do at the moment. It feels good, satiated & relieved at the moment. A Life & Wellness Coach who has studied & learnt the lifestyle science knows this well.
The Tamasic things are always luring & attractive as they deal with the survival. Such Tamasic things are the work of the reptilian brain. It only knows of own survival. It only knows of one’s own wellbeing. It only knows pleasure. It only knows hunger, sex & sleep; as they are important for survival. It is not empathetic. It doesn’t feel for the people you love or care about. It doesn’t even feel about what you love to do or be. It only understands survival of the body.
It is because of this that you get lured to do things that you will feel guilty about it later on. Because the doing part is done by the reptilian brain and the feeling guilty part is done by the intellectual faculty of the brain.
And that is because your body & mind as a whole, has not known other options and the feelings that come by opting for those options. Your body & mind does not have enough experience of how it feels to get up & work out & meditate. Your body & mind does not have enough experience of not having that slice of pizza, the feeling it gives, the sense of control it gives, the sense of confidence it brings, the quality of breathing and the feeling in the body while having that intermittent fasting phase.
But once you have trained your body & mind enough to experience the other side, you will naturally choose to do things that make you feel better instead of guilty. Once we develop enough courage to accept our mistakes, resisting doing such action will naturally become easy.
HOW TO ADDRESS
Whatever that is that you do and you feel guilty about it, is only because such actions are stored in the form of patterns within your body. Every pattern that you have within you, whether it is about overeating, being short tempered, being fearful, watching porn, fighting with spouse, dominating your children, it is all stored in the form of breathing patterns. See, the science behind this is too much grand to discuss it in this article.
But understand that every psychological pattern has a certain breathing pattern behind it. Whenever you are reacting or responding in a particular way, your breathing will follow a set pattern. By altering your breathing you can alter your pattern at base level.
Your any issue or problem can be addressed at three levels: Mental, Energy (Prana) and Physical Level.
By sincerely following the above steps you can change your patterns that make you feel guilty later. The patterns that are weak will change immediately. But those patterns that are ingrained too much deep inside your consciousness will take a little more time, will, efforts & skills.
So, follow these steps to address:
- Make a list of patterns that you want to change. Choose no more than three at a time.
- Set a target date, advisedly after a week. Mentally make a strong will, that no matter what, you will not repeat this pattern after the target date.
- After the target date, whenever you feel like you are now about to repeat the pattern, change your location immediately if you can. Then take couple of deep breaths with long exhalations.
- Start getting curious about the other patterns you can opt instead of the old patterns. (for example, when you get the urge to get drunk, you will go for a movie or you will go to see a friend (who doesn’t drink) or you will go out for a coffee/tea/whatever you like.)
- Twice daily, take couple of deep breaths with eyes closed. Then sit with eyes closed without moving your body much. Focus on your breath.
But as they say, “Where there is a will there is a way”. If you are persistent and if you keep your will strong, you will get rid away of all the patterns that make you feel guilty in life and are highly counterproductive.
In my Life Coaching sessions, we go into a great detail on how to address certain strong counterproductive patterns. For more details you can write me or call me.
- 10 UNIQUE MORNING RITUALS FOR PRODUCTIVITY | HABITS | ROUTINE
- 5 EFFECTIVE TIPS TO DEAL WITH EXAM ANXIETY
- Which Yogi Are You: Karma, Bhakta, Jnana Or Raja Yogi?
- WHY WE DO THINGS WE REGRET LATER IN LIFE?
- 3 VALUABLE LIFE LESSONS I LEARNT FROM KARATE