release regret

4 Strategies to Release Regret

In our last post, we discussed becoming more comfortable expressing your emotions. Expressing emotions is important because it helps individuals process and understand their feelings, allows them to communicate effectively with others, and promotes mental and emotional well-being. Suppressing or bottling up emotions can lead to negative consequences, such as increased stress and poor mental health. Being comfortable expressing emotions also helps in building and maintaining healthy relationships. You can read the article here. This post on releasing regret is a continuation of that discussion.

Regret is a complex emotion that can involve feelings of sadness, disappointment, and remorse. Expressing regret can be an important part of processing and coping with the emotion, as it allows individuals to acknowledge their mistakes and take responsibility for their actions. Expressing regret can also help in rebuilding trust and repairing relationships that may have been damaged.

However, it is also important to express regret healthily, and not to dwell on past mistakes to the point of becoming overwhelmed by feelings of guilt or shame. Instead, expressing regret should be part of a process of learning and growth, where individuals take responsibility for their actions, make amends where possible, and move forward in a positive direction.


While expressing regret is important because it allows individuals to take responsibility for their actions and make amends. It is also important to release regret in order to let go of the past and move forward with a positive attitude. This process is about healing and learning, rather than dwelling on past mistakes. Let’s examine 4 things the process can include.


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Daily Gratitude Practice

Practicing daily gratitude can help release regret by shifting focus from negative experiences to positive aspects of one's life. When individuals focus on the things they are grateful for, it can help to reduce negative emotions such as regret, and increase positive emotions, such as happiness and contentment.


Gratitude can also provide perspective and help individuals see that, despite past mistakes, they still have many things to be thankful for in their lives. Expressing gratitude for the present moment can help individuals focus on the present, rather than dwelling on the past.


Here are a few ways practicing daily gratitude can help release regret:

  • Helping to shift focus from negative emotions to positive emotions, making it easier to let go of regret. 
  • Helps individuals to see the good in their lives, which can make it easier to accept and learn from past mistakes. 
  • Encourage individuals to focus on the present moment, which can help prevent dwelling on past regrets. 
  • Helps individuals to appreciate and value what they have and makes it easier to move forward, rather than dwelling on the past. 

It's important to note that gratitude is not a magic solution and it will not erase regret, but it can be a powerful tool in helping to release regret and move forward with a positive mindset.

'No Regrets' Wine Tumbler

'Dream without Fear' Wine Tumbler

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Stop “What If-ing” the Past


"What-if-ing" the past refers to constantly thinking about alternative ways that past events could have played out, and ruminating on the "what if" scenarios. This type of thinking can be unproductive and can lead to feelings of regret, guilt, and disappointment.


It is important to understand that "what-if-ing" the past does not change the future. The past is already set and cannot be changed. Continuously thinking about what could have been or should have been will not change the outcome of past events and it can prevent individuals from moving forward and focusing on the present and future.


Furthermore, "what-if-ing" the past can lead to feelings of anxiety and depression, and it can also prevent individuals from learning from past mistakes, and not allowing them to grow from the experience. Instead, it is more productive to focus on the present and the future, and to learn from experiences in order to make better decisions in the future. It's important to understand that the past cannot be changed, but the future can be shaped by the lessons learned from the past.

Accept the Lesson Learned

Accepting the lessons learned from experiences can be an effective way to release regret. By understanding the cause of their regret, individuals can take steps to prevent similar mistakes in the future. This understanding also helps to provide closure on past events, as individuals can gain closure and move on from the past. Accepting the lessons learned can promote personal growth as individuals learn from their mistakes and become a better version of themselves. This personal growth can change future actions and prevent repeating the same mistakes by learning from experiences and making better decisions in the future.

Forgive yourself and others advice - handwriting on a napkin with a cup of coffee

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Forgive Yourself

Forgiving oneself is a powerful strategy for releasing regret as it allows individuals to let go of negative emotions such as guilt and shame, and move forward with a positive mindset. When an individual forgives themselves, they are able to accept their past mistakes and learn from them, rather than dwelling on them. By forgiving oneself, individuals can accept that they made a mistake and that it is part of their personal history.


This acceptance can help to reduce feelings of guilt and shame associated with regret, which can prevent individuals from moving forward. Forgiving oneself promotes self-compassion, which is the ability to be kind and understanding towards oneself, even in difficult situations. This self-compassion can promote emotional well-being by reducing negative emotions and increasing positive emotions. It also allows individuals to move forward and let go of the past and focus on the present and the future.


Forgiving oneself is not a simple process. It may take time and effort, but it's an important step towards releasing regret. It's important to remember that forgiving oneself does not mean forgetting what happened or excusing the mistake, it's about accepting the past and moving forward with a positive mindset.

If you are living your life being swallowed alive by your regret, it’s time to explore ways to release it. You deserve a life that is fulfilled and happy, not a life that leaves you stuck in the past and wallowing in disappointment. Remember that releasing regret is a process that takes time and effort. But with patience, understanding, and self-compassion, it is possible to move forward and live fully.

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  • Angel Lewis

    A bit about me. I was born and raised in rural North Carolina, and currently call Virginia home. My passion for writing was awakened while attending Guilford College (Greensboro, NC). In 2021, I published my first book 'My Self-Care Plan: 12 Monthly Strategies That Will Transform Your Life'. It inspires readers to make self-care a priority during the next 12 months so that they can live their best life possible. The spring of 2022 saw the release of 'Ready. Set. Fly!' my debut children’s book that encourages self-belief and perseverance.

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