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How to Stop Feeling Guilty and Finally Start Living for You

how to stop feeling guilty

If you’re someone who always takes the blame no matter the situation, you might want to learn how to stop feeling guilty. Here’s how.

There’s a lot one can feel guilty about in life. And if you’re someone who seems to take the blame from others even when it’s not your fault, you suffer a great deal more than most of us. It can even ruin your life if you don’t know how to stop feeling guilty all the time.

But there is hope because there is a way to shut the incessant, nagging voice of guilt going off inside your head at all hours. It might take some time and a lot of mental effort, but in order to better your life, it’s worth it.

Those who feel guilty were often blamed a ton as kids

This isn’t true for everyone but for a lot of people who feel guilty most of the time or take the blame no matter the situation, they were typically blamed a lot as a child. They may not have done anything wrong and were still shamed for things beyond their control.

Others, however, tend to be people with controlling personalities. They have to make everything go their way and when it doesn’t, for reasons outside of their control, they still feel responsible. [Read: 10 guilt-free ways to handle guilt trippers in your life]

How to stop feeling guilty so you can finally enjoy life again

Everyone deserves a great life. If you’ve been struggling with excessive guilt and can’t seem to get rid of it, we can help. These are our best tips for dealing with taking too much of everyone else’s burdens.

#1 Let go of some control. When you take control over everything, you’ll naturally hold onto more guilt when things don’t go your way. In order to get past this, you have to give up some of that control. Realize that you can’t make everything happen the way you want.

But that’s okay. Nobody can control every single outcome. It’s normal to want things to go a certain way and then feel guilty or awful when they don’t. If you realize that it’s not under your complete control, you’ll start to feel less guilty. [Read: 15 questions to reveal a controlling personality instantly]

#2 Stop blaming yourself. When something goes wrong, you probably start berating yourself in your mind. Those who feel guilty do this often. No matter the situation, you find a way for it to somehow be your fault.

You have to stop that. More likely than not, it wasn’t your fault at all but rather, a combination of events you have little to no control over. Remember this and stop putting the blame solely on yourself.

#3 Look at the facts. Instead of getting in your head about this, just sit down and look at the facts. Step away from the situation and assess it as an outsider. What happened exactly to make things go wrong?

When you do this, you’re able to see things for what they are. Those of us who feel guilty often only look at stuff that directly affects us. We’re blind to the facts and those are what we need to find peace with ourselves. [Read: 16 ways to realize your true self-worth]

#4 Talk to someone. Holding everything inside is a terrible idea. If you’re truly feeling guilty about something – specifically something that affected someone close to you – just talk to them.

You’d be surprised how much of your guilt is solely in your own mind. So open up and talk to them. They can help you realize where your thinking is off and how you can get back on track to stop feeling so guilty.

#5 Remember that you’re not responsible for others. If you want to know how to stop feeling guilty, remember that your decisions are your own and someone else’s decisions are theirs. People who often feel guilty take on the responsibility of others when it’s not theirs at all. If you do this, just try to stop.

Repeat this to yourself and it’ll help a lot. Everyone makes their own choices and if something goes wrong, you’re not the one who should take the blame, especially if you were barely involved at all. It’s okay to feel bad for someone, just don’t feel guilty. [Read: 18 ways to free yourself and find more spontaneity in life]

#6 Look at it from another perspective. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Would you still blame you if the roles were reversed? If not, then you shouldn’t feel guilty about what happened. You can’t blame yourself for something you wouldn’t blame someone else for.

So whenever you feel yourself feeling particularly guilty, simply look at it from a new perspective. Ask yourself how you would feel if the roles were reversed and this will help tremendously.

#7 Look deeper at the situation. You might not truly be feeling guilty at all. Guilt is a very broad emotion if you think about it. Instead, you could feel resentment, dread, anxiety, or anything else other than guilt but you’re just defaulting to that as a means to keep yourself together.

Digest the situation in full. You’re allowed to feel more than one thing at once. You could feel guilty and upset with someone. You could have anxiety in addition to the guilt. Overall, looking deeper at what happened can help you learn more about yourself and this can help with the guilt. [Read: How to look deeper and find true meaning]

#8 Ask yourself what you can do about the situation. If you’re trying to figure how to stop feeling guilty, just stop and think about what action you can take instead of worrying about how guilty you feel. Those who tend to feel guilty super easily usually don’t take much action at all.

Stop yourself and ask, “What can I do right now?” If you come up with an answer that works for you and will aid the situation, then do it. If you can’t do anything and you’re still feeling guilty, talk to someone.

#9 Focus on your own needs. You can’t only care about everyone else. You matter too and your feelings are valid. Those of us who feel way too guilty all the time tend to be very empathetic. We take on the emotions of others.

Obviously, that isn’t a good thing when it comes to your own feelings. You have to remember to take care of yourself first. That’s not selfish, that’s necessary. You can’t feel bad and guilty for everyone all the time. [Read: How to stand up for yourself and get want you deserve]

#10 Remember that it’s okay to feel guilty sometimes. It’s normal and it’s okay. You can allow yourself to feel upset and guilty for a little while. The problem is when guilt is taking over your life for no good reason.

We all go through periods of time when we take on the guilt of others. That fine if you don’t allow it to get too excessive. Relax and work through the guilt so you can start living for yourself.

[Read: Should you feel guilty about cheating?]

Feeling guilty is normal and natural at times but if you find yourself feeling this way more often than not, you’ll want to know how to stop feeling guilty. These are our best tips to kick that debilitating annoyance.

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Bella Pope
Bella Pope
Bella is a lifestyle writer, cheese enthusiast (Wisconsin native over here) and fantasy adventure author-in-progress who enjoys all things love, dog, p...

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