10 STEPS TO OVER­COM­ING RE­GRET

ELLE (Australia) - - Street Style -

AC­CEPT IT

You may never out­run your one big re­gret, so don’t try. It’s the op­po­site of the “Get Over It” school of re­gret man­age­ment, but a bet­ter place to start when it comes to man­ag­ing the pain. “It’s go­ing to be part of you, part of your ex­pe­ri­ence, maybe for the rest of your life,” says Hirn­ing. “So in­stead of try­ing to sub­tract from it, add on. Add on wis­dom. Add on the be­lief that it’s shaped you in some pos­i­tive way.”

SHARE THE BLAME

Self-com­pas­sion is a life’s work, but while you’re learn­ing to be kind to your­self, refuse to take all the blame for what you did or failed to do, sug­gests Green­berg. Other fac­tors, other peo­ple, dif­fer­ent cir­cum­stances, stress or time pres­sure got you there. It wasn’t just you.

SWITCH BRAINS

The best way to get out of the emo­tional brain where re­gret plays on loop is to cre­ate a log­i­cal re­sponse, says Heys. “You said one stupid thing at a party and it’s all you re­mem­ber af­ter­wards. But write down ev­ery con­ver­sa­tion you had and you’ll see 98 per cent of them are pos­i­tive. Make a con­scious choice to fo­cus on that. Even if just for five min­utes.”

LOOK FOR THE POS­I­TIVE

Re­gret sends ad­dicts to re­cov­ery, or leads a cou­ple to rec­on­cile, or es­tranged friends to for­give each other. Ev­ery now and again, re­gret has a tan­gi­ble out­come.

TALK TO SOME­ONE

Choose the per­son well since the in­ten­sity of your feel­ing may not be un­der­stood. “A ther­a­pist can help process the grief and re­frame the ex­pe­ri­ence,” Hirn­ing says. “Be­ing alone [with] it for too long can be dan­ger­ous,” adds Fer­rari.

START AN EV­I­DENCE FILE

Mean­ing, an ac­tual phys­i­cal record of your good choices so that ev­ery time your brain goes to town on you, you have a list of stone-cold clap­backs. Also ap­ply the “And then what?” prin­ci­ple. “Ac­knowl­edge the truth of what you did, that you made a bad call,” says Hirn­ing. “But ask, ‘And then what? What’s the next step for­ward?’”

MAKE DOWNWARD SO­CIAL COM­PAR­ISONS

It seems like a cheat, and it kind of is, but for a tem­po­rary spike in pos­i­tive feel­ing, ac­tively com­pare how much bet­ter you’re do­ing than the next girl who made an even dumber choice. One study proved that it works, for a mo­ment at least (and that up­wards com­par­i­son does the pre­cise op­po­site).

DOWNLOAD THAT MINDFULNESS APP AGAIN

One of the core prac­tices of mindfulness is steer­ing the brain back and back to the present mo­ment. Since re­gret keeps you stuck in the past, the same tech­nique can help you learn to move on from way-back-then. Stay phys­i­cally healthy, too, be­cause a stronger body and mind re­sults in in­creased lev­els of re­silience.

BE CU­RI­OUS

Your keen­est re­grets can tell you some­thing about your core val­ues. “Be cu­ri­ous about why this one won’t go away,” sug­gests Hirn­ing. “What can you learn from it about what’s most im­por­tant to you?”

AIM FOR NEU­TRAL

When you’re mired in re­morse, try­ing to leap straight to “I’m amaz­ing! I have no re­grets!” won’t work. This shift is too ex­treme. “Go from, ‘I make stupid de­ci­sions all the time’ to ‘I make de­cent de­ci­sions some of the time’,” says Heys. “In­cre­men­tal steps strengthen that path­way in your brain. Im­plant one sus­tain­able new be­lief and then go fur­ther.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.