“Don’t beat yourself up.” This is pretty common advice to stop the guilt concerning something that you either did or failed to do. Beating yourself up for a long period of time is unproductive and exhausting, so it is best to do something about it. Try these two things:
1. If you are beating yourself up about something, be deeply honest with yourself as you discern if there is in fact some room for improvement in that situation. It may very well be that the pinch of guilt is your heart pointing you to be a better version of yourself. Your heart wants you to be a better person, so a bit of guilt isn’t a bad thing; it’s just a little nudge in the right direction, toward an apology, toward improved behaviour, toward the best you can be. In this case, once you make the change, you’ll naturally stop beating yourself up.
2. Sometimes guilt sticks around even though there is nothing that you can do about it. Maybe you’ve done all you can. Maybe it’s not anything you can do. In this case, when the guilt bubbles up and you start beating yourself up, pause, take a breath, and bring that guilt down to the heart. Imagine just picking up the guilt and placing it in your heart. You don’t have to think about it, judge it, or feel guilty about feeling guilty; just sincerely keep bringing it down to the heart. It is a bit like placing the guilt in someone else’s hands. After all, if you discerned that there is nothing else you can do about the situation, there is no need for the guilt and you can give it away, let it go. Your heart will take the significance out of it and slowly but surely dissolve the guilt for you.
Where in your life are you beating yourself up?
Can you improve yourself in any way? Can you do something to make it right?
If you’ve done all you can, are you ready to let your heart dissolve the guilt?
Here’s to Conquering Stress,
The Stress Experts
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Practical Strategies to Deal with Daily Stressors
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