Eva Carlston Academy
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Learning How To Forgive Yourself

Guilt, unfortunately, comes in many different forms all of which affect the way we see the world and ourselves. It can become an overwhelming feeling of isolation and frustration, especially if you end up starting to blame yourself for a situation that may or may not have been out of your control. Whatever the circumstances may be, learning how to forgive yourself can be a freeing feeling and help you conquer the feelings of guilt and grief that came with it. 

Understanding Guilt

Guilt, more often than not, involves negative thoughts entering your mind and self-judgment creeping into your day-to-day life. Having thoughts like “I should have done this” or “I shouldn’t have done that” makes us feel overly responsible for our mistakes or things that may have been out of our control. Ironically enough, guilt makes it so it’s even more difficult to learn and overcome your experiences when instead it should provide you with a roadmap on how to move forward. 

Why Should You Forgive Yourself?

Loneliness, depression, anxiety, and stress-related mental conditions can begin to make it harder each day to do simple life tasks like getting out of bed or brushing your teeth. Guilt has a way of amplifying these symptoms or causing physical ailments that you may not have had previously. Forgiving yourself can give you the freedom in your mind to learn from your experiences and move on with your life in a way that is new and profound. Spending time blaming yourself or having constant negative thoughts about who you are will only make it worse.

5 Tips For Forgiving Yourself

How should you go about forgiving yourself? Most of the time, it’s easier said than done but experimenting with what works for you and your body will be the most effective way to begin the healing process. 

  • Acknowledge the mistake out loud: Too often we are scared of admitting our mistakes or our part in something. Acknowledging your part (if any) that is in relation to the guilt can help you recognize it for what it is, a mistake and nothing more. It helps free your mind of the thoughts that have been repeating. 
  • Talk with your inner voice: Your inner voice can be one of the most uplifting things and one of the most damaging things. If you’re constantly filling your head with negative thoughts, it may be time to have a conversation with your inner voice. Saying things like “Why am I thinking this way?” “Here are all of my wonderful qualities I know I have” can help aid you as well as journal your thoughts and feelings.  
  • Notice when you are being self-critical: Sometimes when the guilt begins to take over or we are trying to forgive ourselves we are too self-critical and it can get to the point where we may not even recognize we are doing it. Try to catch yourself mid-thought when you notice you’re being too hard on yourself.
  • Listen to your advice: Often when we advise our friends, we hardly follow that same advice. Think of what you would say to someone you care about in your situation and then listen to that. 
  • Show kindness and patience for yourself: You’re learning how to forgive yourself and overcome something that has happened to you in your life. Show patience for yourself and kindness, this is a process and something that will not go away overnight!

Learning how to forgive yourself is one of the most important things you can do when trying to overcome guilt in your life. Understand where the guilt is coming from along with the negative thoughts that are getting to you. The more you learn about yourself and “what makes you tick” the easier it will be to see a mistake for what it is.