12 things to do when you’re living with regrets

I know some people might think living with regrets is no big deal, but trust me – it’s a heavy weight to carry around. 

You’re stuck in this endless cycle of self-blame and remorse, constantly wondering “what if” and replaying past events in your head. 

But let me tell you – it’s never too late to make a change and start living a regret-free life. 

So if you’re ready to leave your regrets behind and move forward, keep reading. 

You’re about to learn some seriously life-changing stuff. 

Here are 12 things you can do to start moving forward and leaving those regrets behind:

1) Acknowledge your regrets and emotions

Remember when you made that mistake at work and you felt like the whole world was against you? 

Or when you said something hurtful to a loved one and you couldn’t stop beating yourself up about it? 

Yeah, we’ve all been there. 

It’s easy to get caught up in the negative emotions that come with regrets. 

But here’s the thing – acknowledging and accepting those emotions is the first step in moving on and finding ways to cope with them. 

It’s okay to feel sad, angry, or frustrated about the past. 

These emotions are a natural part of the healing process. 

By acknowledging and accepting them, you can start to let go of that heavy burden and find ways to move forward.

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2) Reflect on the lessons learned

Let’s admit that looking back on past mistakes isn’t exactly a walk in the park. 

It can be painful, embarrassing, and downright difficult to face. 

But here’s the thing – those mistakes and regrets can actually be some of the most valuable learning experiences we have. 

Think about it – what can you take away from this situation that will help you grow and improve in the future? 

Maybe you learned a valuable lesson about communication, or maybe you discovered a new skill or talent you never knew you had. 

By finding the silver lining in your regrets, you can start to see them as opportunities for growth and development, rather than failures. 

And who knows – maybe one day, those same regrets will be the very things that help you reach new heights and achieve your dreams.

3) Practice forgiveness – both for yourself and others

Let’s have a look back at the last time you made a mistake. 

How did you react? 

Did you beat yourself up and hold onto feelings of anger or resentment? 

Or did you try to find a way to forgive yourself and move on? 

Forgiveness can be a tough concept to grasp, especially when it comes to forgiving ourselves. 

We’re all human, and we all make mistakes – that’s just a fact of life. 

But it’s important to remember that it’s okay to ask for forgiveness and to extend it to others. 

By practicing forgiveness, you can let go of any negative emotions you may be carrying around and move forward with a lighter heart. 

And who knows – maybe one day, you’ll be in a position to offer that same forgiveness to someone else in need.

4) Make amends if possible

Moving from that place of regret can be tough, especially when it involves actions that have negatively impacted others. 

It can be hard to face the consequences of our actions and to confront those situations head-on. 

But it’s important to remember that making amends, if possible, can be an important step in moving forward and finding closure. 

This may involve apologizing, offering compensation, or simply expressing your regret and asking for forgiveness. 

It may be uncomfortable, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. 

By taking this step, you can start to heal your relationships and find a way to move on from the past. 

And who knows – maybe one day, you’ll be able to look back on this experience with a sense of pride and growth.

5) Take responsibility for your actions

make ex guilty 12 things to do when you're living with regrets

I used to be really good at making excuses for my mistakes. 

It was always someone else’s fault, or I had a really good reason for doing what I did. But you know what? 

That just prolonged the cycle of regret and kept me stuck in the past. 

It wasn’t until I started taking responsibility for my actions and owning up to my mistakes that I was able to start making positive changes and improving myself. 

It wasn’t easy, and it definitely didn’t happen overnight. 

But by accepting responsibility and taking ownership of my actions, I was able to start moving forward and leaving my regrets behind

So if you’re struggling to overcome your regrets, try taking a step back and really owning up to your actions. 

It may not be easy, but it’s a crucial step in the process of healing and moving forward.

6) Let go of the need for perfection

I remember reading a quote once that really stuck with me: “Perfection is the enemy of progress.” 

At the time, I was really struggling with regrets and the need to be perfect. 

I felt like I needed to achieve perfection in order to make up for my past mistakes and be worthy of love and acceptance. 

But the truth is, perfection is unattainable. 

No one is perfect, and that’s okay. 

By focusing on progress and self-improvement, rather than perfection, you can start to let go of those unrealistic expectations and find joy and fulfillment in the present moment. 

It’s okay to make mistakes and have flaws – that’s what makes us human. 

So if you’re struggling with the need for perfection, try shifting your focus to progress and self-improvement. 

It may not be easy, but it’s a crucial step in overcoming regrets and finding happiness in the present.

7) Practice gratitude

Let me tell you something – gratitude can be a game-changer when it comes to overcoming regrets. 

It’s easy to get stuck in a negative mindset, constantly dwelling on the past and what could have been. 

But by focusing on the things you’re grateful for, no matter how small, you can start to shift your mindset and bring some positivity into your life. 

Make a list of the things you’re thankful for – it could be your health, your loved ones, or even just the fact that you have a roof over your head. 

And try to incorporate gratitude into your daily routine – it can be as simple as taking a few minutes each day to reflect on the things you’re grateful for. 

This can help you see the good in your life and find joy in the present moment, rather than dwelling on regrets from the past.

8) Practice mindfulness

Before I talk about mindfulness, let me address a common misconception – that it’s some kind of woo-woo, new age practice that has no real benefits. 

But the truth is, mindfulness can be a powerful tool in overcoming regrets. It’s all about being present in the moment and fully aware of your thoughts and emotions. 

By practicing mindfulness, you can become more attuned to your own needs and emotions, and find ways to cope with negative thoughts and regrets. 

It’s not about clearing your mind of all thoughts or becoming some kind of zen master – it’s about simply being present and aware of what’s happening in your own mind and body. 

And the best part? 

You can practice mindfulness anywhere, at any time. 

All it takes is a few minutes of focus and intention, and you’re on your way to finding greater clarity and peace of mind.

9) Seek support from others

I know it seems like we’re living in the era of personal independence, where it’s all about going it alone and being self-reliant.

But the truth is, we can’t do everything on our own. 

We’re social creatures, and we need support and connection in order to thrive. 

That’s especially true when it comes to overcoming regrets. It can be a challenging journey, and it’s important to have support along the way. 

Whether it’s a trusted friend, a family member, or a professional therapist, reaching out for support can help you process your emotions and find healthy ways to cope with your regrets. 

So give yourself a break and reach out for support. 

It’s a brave and important step towards healing and moving forward.

10) Seek professional help

understanding person 12 things to do when you're living with regrets

As I mentioned above, seeking out support from others can be a crucial step in overcoming regrets. 

But if you don’t have anyone to turn to, or if you feel like you need a more structured and professional approach, then try seeking out professional help. 

A therapist or counselor can provide a safe and supportive space to work through your emotions and find healthy ways to cope with your regrets. 

It’s not a sign of weakness to reach out for help – in fact, it’s a brave and important step towards healing. 

So if you’re struggling to cope with your regrets on your own, don’t be afraid to seek out professional help. 

It could be the missing piece you need to start moving forward and living a life free from regrets.

11) Seek out new experiences

Now, let’s move on to the next tip – seeking out new experiences. 

After you’ve taken the time to acknowledge your regrets, practice forgiveness, and work on self-improvement, it’s time to start thinking about how you can break free from the cycle of regrets and find new joy and purpose in life.

One way to do this is by stepping outside of your comfort zone and trying new things. 

Whether it’s trying a new hobby, traveling to a new place, or simply trying something new, stepping out of your comfort zone can help you find new joy and purpose in life. 

It’s not always easy to take that first step, but the rewards can be incredible. 

So if you’re ready to break free from your regrets and start living a life full of new experiences, don’t be afraid to take that first step.

12) Make a plan for the future

It’s time for the future – it’s time to focus on what you want to achieve and how you can work towards it. 

There was a saying that always stuck with me: “The past is behind, the future is ahead, and the present is a gift.” 

I know it’s not easy to let go of regrets and focus on the present, especially when you’re still carrying the weight of the past. 

But we cannot change the past – it’s time to start moving forward and looking towards the future. 

So where to start? 

Let’s make a plan. 

Whether it’s setting small, achievable goals or working towards a long-term dream, having a plan in place can give you a sense of purpose and direction, and help you focus on the things that truly matter to you. 

So if you’re ready to start moving past your regrets and towards a brighter future, it’s time to make a plan and take those first steps.

Last words

It’s important to remember that regrets are a natural part of life and that it’s never too late to make a change and start living a life without regrets. 

By following these 12 tips, you can begin to move forward and find joy and purpose in the present moment. 

It may not be easy, but it’s a journey worth taking.

So don’t let regrets hold you back any longer – it’s time to take control and start living the life you deserve.

Picture of Nguyet Yen Tran

Nguyet Yen Tran

Yen is a freelance writer and a researcher specializing in mental health, self-awareness, and psychology. Her hobby is studying human behavior throughout their reaction upon situations. Be sure to check out her other posts on our blog.

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