There are so many different types of guilt that people carry around with them. As with other emotions, sometimes feeling guilt is appropriate. For example, if you felt guilty for hurting someone with physical or verbal violence. However, some forms of guilt are unproductive and erroneous. For example, if you felt guilty for missing a family occasion because you had to work.
Guilt can literally eat away at you unless you deal with it. It is also one of the emotions that is the hardest to let go of. Hanging onto guilt serves no purpose for anyone.
As mentioned, it is right to feel guilt at certain times; it shows we care about how our actions may affect and hurt others or ourselves. Overcoming guilt is all about letting the emotion go; learning from the event but not hanging onto an emotion that serves no purpose.
Feeling guilt can also lead to other unproductive emotions such as anxiety, anger, hurt, sadness, shame and resentment. It can impact your self-esteem, your relationships, your future choices, your work and your health. Why would you want to hold onto guilt if it was erroneous?
Do you have guilt in your life that holds you back or impacts those around you? Do you hang onto guilt as a punishment to yourself or others? Do you want to remove it and start living the life you want to live now?
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There are other ways that you can deal with guilt. One such way is for you to write a letter to yourself offering forgiveness (owning up and taking responsibility) to you or others, then tearing it up – symbolising that you are letting go and releasing the negative emotion. Look out for next weeks BLOG where we provide a few tips on how to release inappropriate feelings of guilt.