Releasing Guilt From A psychologists View
Guilt is something we are taught to experience. It is unnatural. Guilt can be experienced in the form: I did something I shouldn’t have done and now I feel bad; or I didn’t do something I should have done and now I feel bad; either way this is a pang of self-created guilt. Or it can be induced “you should feel bad because…” when you behaved in a way that someone disapproved of; or in the form “well I was planning on going out tonight and I almost never go out with my mates and you go out all the time, but if you really want to go out, then I’ll stay in… don’t think there’s much on telly…”.says Little Steps psychologist Northern Beaches
Whatever you did or didn’t do is done or not done. Feeling bad about it can’t undo it. This style of guilt is a belief in a Time Machine. It is engaging in fantasy. What is in the past. Either own up and take the consequences or don’t. Choose which it is to be and then consign the experience to the past where it belongs and shift your attention to the present moment.
Emotional blackmail is the other way guilt is commonly experienced. Just stop playing that game. If you accept responsibility for your own feelings, then you must allow others to do the same. Do what you want to do and as long as you are not physically or psychologically harming others then that’s ok. Someone sulking because you are having more fun than them won’t do them any harm. When you give in to emotional blackmail you are effectively walking around with a big sign on your back saying – Abuse me, I don’t mind.
Expressing Appreciation Advice From A Psychologist
This is one of the most difficult steps to master, so remember mastery is not the goal. The real problem with expressing appreciation is that many people feel uncomfortable when appreciation is expressed for something they have done “it was nothing”, “don’t mention it”, “anyone would have done it”.
Let’s say you decide to buy a gift for someone you love (not a sexual partner, a friend) just so they know how important they are in your life. You spend a lot of time choosing the gift. You wrap it beautifully and present it to them. They take one look and hand it back. How would you feel? Most people would feel at least a little hurt.
Appreciation is a gift.
Appreciation is a gift of love.
When someone does something for you that you like – let them know. Write an e-mail, send a letter, give a bigger tip, say something more than the ritual “thank you” – “thank you that was nice”, “I really enjoyed…”, “you are very thoughtful”…
Money is a wonderful way to express appreciation. Buy from those whom you appreciate. Send donations. Offer payment where none is expected.
And as you start to express appreciation more and more in your life you will find one day that when someone offers that gift of appreciation to you, you will not reject it you will accept it with “thanks, that’s really nice of you to say”.
Physical Exercise & Psychology
However much exercise you get you can always increase it. There is much truth in the old adage – A healthy mind in a healthy body.
Exercise is the expression of appreciation for your beautiful body. Your body is such a miraculous creation – so complex, so incredibly amazing – that it would be a rejection at the deepest level for you to ignore its physical well-being. It doesn’t matter how unfit you are. You can always exercise more than you are doing. Exercise releases endorphins. You feel better after exercise. The benefits are cumulative. It provides more oxygen to the brain, creates more alertness, awakens the immune system and so makes it easier to fight pathogens. But most of all it establishes a discipline and routine that is frequently lacking when mental health is poor. This change alone will improve the situation. Should you have any physical health problems then seek your doctor’s advice about exercise