Hi everybody, how are you feeling? In the previous article, we discussed what is guilt and types of guilt. If you are struggling with guilt then let’s explore what are the underlining causes regarding it and how can we manage it?
Guilt exists due to the fixed irrational belief that you should have known what might have happened in the future. They believe that you should have known in advance all the negative consequences. And the following thinking pattern that you should have made a different decision.
Since you cannot change the decision you made, you feel trapped can’t find any way out. You may find yourself revisiting the past and rewriting the script of the event.
You may also avoid meeting those whom you believe have been impacted by your decision or those who remind you of the effects of the decisions. Constantly trying to make up for the mistakes you believe you made can place immense stress on emotional wellbeing. You may consider or act out some self-harm attempts as you believe that the damage is irreparable. Or taking drugs or alcohol in an attempt to punish yourself.
To heal and manage guilt we need to have the following conversation with ourselves.
- To communicate with oneself and understand that we cannot anticipate what, if any, potentially negative consequences might ensue.
- You must challenge and change the negative thinking pattern. Thinking that avoiding people, places that remind you of the guilt or self-medicating with drugs or self-harm will not change the irrational belief of guilt you have. It will not change the negative outcome of which occurred due to the decision/s you took. Beating yourself up is not also a waste of time but unhealthy for your mental health.
- Apply the CBT technique which is explained in detail in the previous articles
- “Accepting” and understanding that there is no use of being angry or frustrated with oneself for being able to predict the future.
- Being your authentic self and true to oneself and repeating this to yourself that “I took the decision which best of my intentions”. Moreover repeating that “I cannot control the outcome”.
I hope and pray that these small steps help you change the negative, irrational and unhealthy thinking patterns. If you feel that you need professional help, please feel free to reach out to femmerang team.