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How can I stop the cycle of regret?
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Everyday I think about all I did, said or didn't do. There isn't a day that sadness doesn't have a strong hold on me. I force myself to look at the beauty around me and sometimes for a very short while I'll replace regret with graditude. Regret has a very strong hold on me, when I go to bed no matter how tired, I toss for hours with agony over my entire past. How can I stop the cycle of regret?
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Comments (23)
All you have to do is just realize that the past is the past. Live in the present not the past. Everything you regret is basically a mistake. What do you do when you make a mistake? Try your best to not repeat the mistake. You are only human everyone has regrets. You just can't let it hold on to you and control your life. Go on be happy and kick that regret back to the past and live in the present. Next time the situation comes up remeber what you regret and dot let it happen again. That will knock that off your regret list. Think of it as redeeming yourself. But dot go out and try to get yourself inthe same situation lol. Just live and be happy. That's all you have to do. Hope I helped goodluck!
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@: Jake989
For the first time in a long time I feel normal after reading this post! I have OCD in it's varying forms for my whole life and regret has played a big part. I just thought I had an issue with 'regret' but it's only now I am linking the two and googled it and found forums such as these! I always analyse over and over what I have or haven't done, where I caused something to go wrong, and its like a loop in my head repeating. I can't CBT my way out of it like others can. I just have to let it run its course, although dance and meditation and acupuncture (for anxiety) are my 3 big saviours. Now this post is my fourth! Thank u for making me realise that I'm not the only one with an unhealthy obsession over regret. It comes down to feeling you don't deserve happiness...u 'f*** it up somehow' and keep making mistakes that u don't learn from. I know all this about unworthiness but it's like a switch u can't turn off, it controls you. However I find activity is the best cure. Living I'm the present takes effort but I still acknowledge my obsessions about the past, what I did or didn't do in relationships etc. it's part of who I experience in this lifetime. But I read a great quote once 'you can never regret any decision because it's the only decision u could have made given the Information and mindset you had at the time'. So true, and nice to know people without OCD also border on the feelings and thought patterns we OCD sufferers experience. Even writing on this blog is like a compulsion ritual for me ;) but yeah I'm regretting time spent on here instead of living my life, or staying up too late, or eating that thing, or saying this or that. It's endless and excruciating...and then it robs me of enjoying the present moment, which then causes further regret! Vicious cycle...but seriously there are strategies to 'turn down the volume...not cure it completely because I don't think it can might have to do with having a pronounced reptilian complex in the brain, which is associated with ritualised behaviours.
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I used to do this too. I recently found out I had OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) which caused me to continuously worry about and go over (in my head) things that I had done in the past. I'd feel like I had to tell someone the things I'd done in order to stop worrying about them. But then I'd always remember other things I'd done, and start worrying about those. I am now seeing a counsellor for my OCD and things are getting alot better. You should probably try seeing a counsellor because you could have OCD too. They can really help. You can beat this!
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I'm the same way :(
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when you are dead YOU WILL BE DEAD.
Now before I say anything else DON'T COMMIT SUICIDE.
You focus on the things that are past, things you want or need, things you can't forget.
These are all things that you have wanted liked and lived for, when someone dies for example don't mourn for them until you die for you will regret it.
So fight that voice that reminds you of sadness, do not simply delay it from speaking.
It is your mind and you have the power to control it.
I'm not talking about thinking or meditation.
You are the only one capable of emptying your mind of this dark sorrow.
Maby I sound like a raving lunatic to others reading this comment or even yourself, but I am saying this bullshit to try to help you.

Start with your imagination, you have an empire with unlimited power in every thing you can think of.
use it.
Of course you will find this method completely useless.
But it is a good baseline for your war against yourself.
It is a war, and the part of you that is making you miserable will fight back and punish you for trying to break free.
Now while this part of you attacks it is actually more vulnerable that before.
And it has entered your realm.
You know the one were you have unlimited of everything?
Now hears the difficult part.
You have to create a fire in your mind, so powerful that your head even begins to shake, so powerful that nothing can withstand it, the crushing force of the two sides of your head attempting to smash together and destroy the brain.
this is the raw power I am talking about.
It is hard to achieve but once you achieve it it is your most powerfull ofence.
Your enemy will back off, and even come back and atack you, the moves your enemy makes can be unpredictable.
A war will rage between you for years.
Eventually you will win though if you are determined, because you can dominate yourself.
But after you win the war do not be relaxed.
You will have to keep your guard up because this evil is a part of you, you can not truly destroy it.
If you can't make the fire in your mind then forget it.

To create the fire:
squish your brain.
or compress your brain.
create stress in it until your head begins to shake because of the mental image you will find yourself creating.
then you need to learn how to aim this power.
I cant explain any better than this because what I speak of is in YOUR mental realm.
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Oh man, i thought i was the only one, i constsntly regret the things that i say or do or did not do. Sometimes these things would jut come back to me and i would feel so embarassed that i have to immediately make myself active to stop thinking about it.

I bet you are one of those really sensitive people, its okay so am i you just really care anout how you affect thngs.
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I'd like to take a quote from an inspiring show called The Dave Chapelle Show. "Just say, fuck it." What never happened is of little consequence. You can't go back and change it. What you need to do is live in the present, otherwise you'll always linger in the past and never do anything at each memorable interval of time. Do something. Thats about it. You did something, what do you have to regret now? If something happens then the gap is filled and you can move on to the next something and so on.
this is your current brain | this is what =cycle | you want=
....^---->| | .---------->
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I have the same problem, spend all day going over my regrets and fragments of conversations that I've had and events that have happpened to me all ways pop into my head.
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I sometimes cant sleep because a cringe worthy moment pops in my head and I cant shake it off! To be honest I dont know what to suggest, but try and keep as active as you can, you are only alive in the now not the past or the future. try and forgive yourself, your your worst critic, Im sure others arnt thinking as much about you as you are, so shrug it off. your only human and we all make mistakes, and promise yourself you wont repeat these patterns. The thoughts may appear less often..
Good luck
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Regret what? Be more specific. And maybe it's best to bring this up to a councellor, and not on blog forums. Think of it as this: Life is meant to be joyous. Learn to live with it's surprises, and make the best out of what you had. If you forget something. Its OK. If you did something you regret, forgive yourself, or ask other for it. Just remember to live life on your own terms Give to others. Be kind. Expect nothing, live frugally on surprise.
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Have you seen "The Big Kahuna?" There is a short bit of dialog you might find interesting:

Phil: The question is, do you have any character at all? And if you want my honest opinion, Bob, you do not. For the simple reason that you don't regret anything yet.

Bob: Are you saying I won't have any character unless I do something I regret?

Phil: No, Bob. I'm saying you've already done plenty of things to regret. You just don't know what they are. It's when you discover them. When you see the folly in something you've done. And you wish you had to do over. But you know you can't because it's too late. So you pick that thing up and you carry it with you. To remind you that life goes on. The world will spin without you. You really don't matter in the end. Then will you attain character. Because honesty will reach out from inside and tattoo itself all across your face.
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Honey, if you are always focusing on the things that you regret what are you missing today? everybody makes mistakes and everybody does things that they regret. The trick is to not let those regrets take over our lives. The mistakes we make and the regrets we have help us to become the person that we are. As long as you learned from the mistakes that you make, that is what matters. so my advice is forget regret and just focus on the now and what you can do better today. there is a saying from one of my favorite movies and musical Rent and it goes "Forget regret, or life is yours to miss."
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Try this one thing. You've focused so far on the things you did wrong, how about thinking about the things that you did right? I'm sure there are many of those as well. Going to the right school, going out with the right girl, etc.

You're not the only one who has regrets. We all have regrets of some kind. The important thing is what have you learnt from those things you did wrong? The other thing you can do is talk to your friends and family about these regrets. They will probably say insightful things about them and make you feel better.

To cut the long story short, thinking about your regrets is not constructive!
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What are you trying to change or accomplish?
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Simply focus on the present moment whenever you catch yourself in a cycle of regret. "Be" with something around you, a chair or a table, anything. Get out of your mind for a moment and into the real world. Your past isn't real. The only thing that is real is right now.

Read The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle for more :)
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omg, i am the exact same way. always regretting stuff. like every day. year after year. it's really annoying. i know i'm gonna regret stuff again soon. very soon.
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wow TheWierdo, that wa some long ass comment.
cootos for taking the time to type all that.
i just wanted to say that i always regret things i say or do, or vice versa what i don't say or don't do.
like why did i eat that, or why didn't i excersize, or why did i sit all night long on the computer..... the list goes on and on.
we all gotta try doing the right things in life, its an ongoing struggle to make the best choices, live the best way we can. its human to make bad choices, to make mistakes. learn from them and see what u can do differently next time.
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"How can I stop the cycle of regret?"

You need to stop having sex with your neighbors dog. Thats how you stop it.
No, seriously, I have no idea what you are talking about. The only advice I can give you is that I think its 75%% of what we worry about does not come true and worrying about it CHANGES NOTHING or can make things worst.

Just live life and enjoy what you can in a polite and honest manner. If you live life this way, you won't have many regrets in the end.
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What do you regret ? Maybe if you tell someone you will understand and regret will float away
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It's been 10 yrs but I still can't stop regretting about the guy who just used me for sex when all i just wanted was a serious relationship. i just turned 21 and he was 7 yrs my senior. he was the sweetest thing on earth before sex but right after sex he turned into a demon, he wldnt even look at me. i hang on to the relationship coz he was my first bf, first kiss and i was a virgin when he took me. so i stayed. he used me for about 8 rounds total. i found out later on that he had a serious gf and i was just his fuck buddy..tho he made me believe he was serious abt me. i want to kill him and take a revenge. every minute of the day i think about how to kill him.
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Hello, I am like you in that way. I regret stupid little things I kissing a boy i realized is stupid..or even something I said or laughed at. I have a bad case of anxiety but I realized to think about life in this sense....

Life could end at ANY moment. It could end tomorrow or tonight and what am i doing with this time? I'm wasting it on something that is already gone. The past may have had it's affect on me but I am no longer apart of it. If it means we start out slow...we all learn. God is willing to forgive, you have to forgive yourself first. A regret is a mistake and a mistake is one until we correct it. As long as you realized what you did was stupid/silly and don't do it anymore..what the hell can we be sad about?? We need to get the hell over it!! And move on with ourselves and our lives. Life is a learning process, ease up on yourself. Free yourself from the enemy in your mind. God loves us despite our flaws so you should feel the same way about yourself.

(p.s. be happy you have the luxury to make mistakes. some children die when they are only 2 and don't get blessed with a messy and beautiful life, some people never even realize their whole life they have hurt people, some people don't even have the luxury to buy a car or to go out in social situations or to act out of line bc there is no line for them. they don't have much. we do. so be happy love yourself)
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That's easy. Stop drinking.
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I mean worst comes to absolute worst,

at least you are not Hitlers Sausage Slave.
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