Have you ever made a decision that you regretted later? Most of us must have experienced that at least once in our lifetime. Undeniably, making decisions can be incredibly unpleasant and frustrating, especially if we end up with a bad or wrong decision. Some of us may even engage in self-blaming, hoping to turn back time. It is human nature to linger on these negative emotions and thoughts. Therefore, in times like this, we should be more compassionate and kinder to ourselves.
Regret is uncomfortable, so we often avoid it with various unhealthy coping mechanisms such as suppression, distraction and denial. But, we know they do not work for long. Instead, practise self-compassion. According to Dr Kristin Neff, there are 3 elements of self-compassion: self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness. Self-compassionate people recognise life is filled with imperfections, difficulties and failure. So being warm and understanding toward ourselves is an act of self-kindness. Remember you tried making the best decision you can with the limited resources available at that moment. Common humanity recognises all sufferings and challenges are a shared human experience, and it comforts us that we are not alone in our situation. Lastly, mindfulness creates a non-judgmental and receptive mind state that allows us to experience the feelings without trying to change them. With that, it prevents us from exaggerating our distress and being engulfed by our negative thoughts and emotions.
Keep in mind: To be human is to make mistakes. Forgive yourself so you can grow. We are rooting for you!