2 Answers

  1. Initially, such regrets appear as a psychological defense against feelings of helplessness and frustration.

    Protection is called “omnipotent control”, and its essence is that a person is under the illusion that he can control everything that happens around him.

    I mean, my girlfriend left me then, but if I had behaved differently, she would have stayed. If you admit that you could not have influenced the girl's departure in any way, then this creates a feeling of helplessness: I do not control my life. Therefore, it is easier to assume that I could have changed something – and then at least the illusion of control remains.

    But over time, this protection can become a bad habit – just like alcohol or smoking. And then you need to deal with it in the same way as with any bad habit: look for other ways to cope with the original problem (feeling helpless).

    The first step you can take: it's finding areas in your life where you've lost control. These can be relationships, work, social life, ambition, goals, or health. The second is not to deny your weakness, but to slowly regain control over your life. This is difficult, because many people don't understand the word “boundaries” very well and either try to control what they can't control (the love of their girlfriend), or throw off responsibility for what they should be responsible for (she made my life hell).

  2. One of the simple techniques:

    1. To realize that your so-called “memory” of what you did/didn't do is an illusion. The brain does not” remember “- it builds a reconstruction of the past event based on its current” content”, i.e., taking into account the current experience and knowledge you have. Therefore, the memory has about the same relation to reality as the reconstruction of the Ice Battle of 1242 by sluggish students who came to Lake Peipsi in budget foreign cars.

    2. To realize that at every moment of time a person thinks and acts in the best way, chooses the best option that he is capable of at the moment. The feeling that “I could have done something different then” is also an illusion. Could not.

    Thus, “regretting the past” is like inventing a white monkey with red eyes, and then sitting there wondering why it is so disgusting.

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