The Complete Guide to Letting go of Guilt in 7 Easy Steps

It’s really easy to feel guilty. It’s a natural human feeling that we all experience from time to time. However, it can be difficult to let go of the negative thoughts and feelings associated with guilt. In this post, I’ll share 7 steps you can use today or at any point in your life that will help you let go of guilt quickly and easily. 

What is guilt?

Guilt can sometimes be a healthy emotion that helps us remain socially responsible and moral. However, it can also be the source of major personal distress and problems in many areas of our lives. When guilt becomes overwhelming and persistent, it is likely that you are dealing with an unhealthy amount of this emotion.

What Are the Causes of Guilt?

There are several types of events or situations that can lead to guilt:

 When we feel guilty about something that has happened in our lives.

– When we feel guilty about something that we didn’t do, or wish we hadn’t done (survivor guilt).

– Guilt and shame often go hand-in-hand: feeling guilty for who you are as a person, rather than what you’ve done.

– Toward others: guilty feelings that result from hurting another person’s feelings, having let someone down or not been there for them, etc.

– Guilt about things that are out of your control, such as natural disasters or other people’s behavior.

– Guilt can also be an internal form of self-punishment for things you feel you should have done differently.

how to let go of guilt

What Are the Symptoms of Guilt?

Recognizing guilt as a problem depends on identifying its symptoms. If you experience any of the following, it might mean that your guilt is out of control:  

– You’re having trouble sleeping or concentrating at work because you’re consumed by guilt.

– You’re avoiding certain good things in life (e.g., socializing with friends, taking care of yourself) because they make you feel guilty.

– Your guilt is making you lash out and blame innocent people for your own problems or unhappiness.

– You let your guilty feelings drive you to make bad decisions or take poor care of yourself because you feel unworthy.

– Your guilt is making it difficult to maintain good relationships with family members, co-workers, etc.

– You let debilitating feelings of guilt drive you to engage in self-destructive behaviors (drinking alcohol excessively, abusing drugs, driving too fast) or suicidal thoughts.

– You let your guilty feelings about past events get in the way of moving on with your life, making you unable to let go of the past.  

How Can I Tell if My Guilt is Unhealthy?

It can be difficult to tell if your guilt is healthy or unhealthy because many people believe that they should feel guilty for just about everything that goes wrong in their lives.

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However, when guilt becomes persistent and all-consuming, it probably means you’re doing something to let this affect your life and relationships negatively.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t feel guilty at all: healthy guilt is the kind of guilt we experience after we’ve done something we believe is wrong or hurtful, and it motivates us to make amends.

However, when guilt becomes excessive and starts dominating your life or relationships, you need to address the underlying cause of this guilt rather than let it continue to run your life.

7 Effective Ways to Let Go Of Guilt

Whether you’re letting healthy or unhealthy guilt consume your life, you need to learn how to let go of guilt in order to get back on track.

STEP 1: Take Responsibility for Your Feelings

A major step in let go of guilt is taking responsibility for your feelings. If you don’t take responsibility for how you act or let others control how you feel, you let them off the hook and let guilt continue to define your life.

As long as you let other people get away with bad behavior or let yourself believe that you’re not responsible for how guilty you feel, it’s difficult to let go of guilt because you don’t let yourself work on changing things.

STEP 2: Make Amends with People You’ve Wronged

Even though it might feel as if guilt is a negative feeling, sometimes it can actually be a good thing because it lets us know that we’ve let down the people we care about.

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When you let guilt consume your life, it becomes debilitating and affects all of your relationships negatively. It may be difficult for you to let go of guilt if it’s related to something you’ve done or said that you regret, but apologies are important.

You can’t let go of guilt until you let other people know how sorry you are about what has happened. You also need to make sure that your amends are sincere and not just a way for you to let go of your guilt.

STEP 3: Find Other Ways to Feel Good About Yourself

Guilt can be a powerful motivator when used properly, but too much guilt is debilitating and paralyzes us from living our lives the way we want.

If you let your guilty feelings take control, it’s difficult to let go of guilt because you let yourself believe that you’re not worthy of feeling good.

Instead, try finding joy and pleasure in other aspects of your life. Find things that make you feel good about yourself and replace the guilty feelings with positive emotions.

STEP 4: Start Focusing on the Positive Aspects of Your Life

If you let yourself let go of guilt, it’s important to let go of the feelings of negativity that accompany this guilt. When you let anxiety and stress take over your life, let them go by focusing on the positive aspects of your life.

Don’t let yourself believe that there are exclusively negative things in your life because focusing only on problems creates more problems for you.

You can let go of guilt by focusing on the good things in your life and let yourself believe that you deserve to let it all go and feel better.

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STEP 5: Take Care of Yourself

Guilt can be a great motivator when used properly, but too much guilt is paralyzing and leads you to let yourself believe that you don’t deserve to feel good.

When you let guilt take over your life, it’s difficult to let go of guilt because you let yourself believe that you’re not worthy of taking care of your mental and physical needs.

You can let go of guilt by realizing that everyone deserves to feel better and they also need to let themselves feel good in order to let go of guilt.

STEP 6: Forgive Yourself and Move On

Even if you let yourself believe that letting go of guilt is impossible, it’s actually something that you can overcome when you let yourself forgive others for what they’ve done (including yourself) and move on with your life.

You can let go of guilt by working on forgiving both yourself and others for things that have happened in your life.

STEP 7: Let Yourself Feel Good

Guilt can be paralyzing when let it take over your life, which makes it difficult to let go of guilt because you let yourself believe that you’re not worthy of feeling good.

If you let go of guilt and let yourself let go of the guilty feelings, it will be easier to let yourself feel good and let yourself believe that you deserve to let it all go.

When you let go of guilt by practicing these steps, you can learn how to let go of guilt in a healthy way without letting the guilty feelings get the best of you.

letting go of guilt

Final Thoughts

It’s important to remember that guilt is a feeling, not an emotion. You can’t feel guilty for something you’ve done if you don’t care about it anymore. So the next time your little voice starts telling you how bad of a person you are, give yourself permission to let go and move on with your life- nothing will change until you do!

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