Welcome back to the alcohol tipping point podcast. I am your host Deb Masner. I am a registered nurse health coach and I'll call free. Bad ass. And today on the show, I want to talk about regret. And spend a lot of time on how to move on from regret. Because that is such an important topic. And one that we've all struggled with, every human has had moments of regret. I mean, I know that some people get those tattoos, no regrets or all Gretz, but.
It's a very human emotion and it doesn't have to be a bad thing. We can learn from it and we can move on from it. I know that I regret a lot of things when it comes to drinking, you know, I regret not stopping sooner. Let me regret drinking and driving, especially with my kids in the car. I regret any fights I had with my husband. I just, I regret not taking care of myself. I mean, honestly, we could go on and on about these. But it's not always constructed.
So I want to make sure that we talk about regret and I constructive, helpful way. So, first of all, what is regret? It's basically a feeling of sadness, repentance, or disappointment over something that has happened or been done. So it's something that has happened in the past. And so what happens is sometimes we tend to ruminate over it and have a hard time letting it go.
And as I was doing research for this episode, I discovered that rumination actually comes from cows and other bovine animals. So basically when cows. Digest their food. The process of digestion they call rumination. And that means that they. The cows basically vomiting up what they had already consumed.
And then they chew it further and then they swallow it down again and then they repeat the process. So that's what rumination is. And whoa, what a visual. But it also. Really is striking and can be what we do with regret and we can get stuck in it. So I hope that this episode helps you get unstuck.
And I hope that you can learn from it and move on from it because there is power in regret and there's power in moving on. I want to share this Bernie brown definition. Regret. She says, I found regret to be one of the most powerful, emotional reminders that change and growth are necessary. In fact, I've come to believe that regret is a kind of package deal.
A function of empathy. It's a call to courage and a path to wisdom. Like all emotions. We're get regret can be used constructively or destructively, but the wholesale dismissal of regret is wrong-headed in dangerous. No regrets doesn't mean living with courage. It means living without reflection. To live without regret is to believe you have nothing to learn.
No amends to make and no opportunity to be braver with your life. . So very helpful words from Bernay brown. Let's talk about some of those benefits of regret. Because there are some, for sure. There's benefits to every emotion, emotions are like messengers. They're telling your body, your mind that something's going on. So we always like to pay attention to those emotions.
And pay attention to the emotion of regret.
Let's talk about the benefits of regret. Regret gives us an opportunity to determine what we really want in life. Sometimes it becomes easier to find out what we want in life by knowing what we do not want in life. Regret does exactly that for us, when we regretted decision and action or a choice, we have an idea on what we should avoid in life.
Sometimes you might find that you regret going to a certain school, you regret going on a date or you regret not going on the date, not taking that opportunity, not going on to grad school. It can go either way, honestly. And so it's just giving you an opportunity to determine what you want in life.
And it also can be a powerful motivator. So if we use it right, regret can be a pretty optimistic force in our life. Having the guilt, screwing up, something can boost us to make up for the mess we've made and that strong urge to make things right. Can be a huge motivation. So when we really mess up, when we mess up with our drinking, when we get, you know, if we get a DUI or something horrible happens, that can be a huge motivator to make a change.
And frankly, to, you know, There's not always like a rock bottom per se, but there are those low moments. That we really can use to change our life. I mean, I can't tell you how many mornings I've woken up and said to myself, I'm done drinking. I want to be done drinking. I feel awful. I regret it.
Not always successful in following through, with not drinking anymore, but it was always a motivator for me when I felt really crappy. When I had said something I regretted the night before, when something went wrong. That was always a motivator to change. Regret can also help improve decisions.
So there've been studies that have shown that when people think about what they regretted not doing in the past, they made better decisions later on. So that's like not trying out for the school play and feeling like that's an missed opportunity. So later on in life, You may realize, like, I need to kind of take life by the balls. I need to like put myself out there.
I need to do these things that I turned down in the past so that I can have a better future. So that's where it can help improve decisions. Regret can deepen meaning. Examining regrets can help us clarify our life's purpose and steer towards meaning. I mean.
I think when we're reflecting about the past and what we regret. That. It's okay. Like that is being honest with ourselves and that is allowing us to move on. And finally, they can also help us embrace imperfection. I mean, nobody is perfect. We are all flawed. And we all need to learn to love the flawed and perfect things that we create. And then most of all, forgive ourselves for creating them.
I can just realize everyone has regrets. And trust that time will heal them. And that you can move on from them. And speaking of self-forgiveness, it does help us get better at self-forgiveness. Now it's kind of like an art that practice of self-forgiveness and it can be difficult to master. Sometimes we're.
Better at forgiving others. And then forgiving ourselves. And regret gives us an opportunity to understand our mistake, forgive ourselves, and move on. And I know that I. I can't undo a lot of the things that I did in the past or with the children or being around the kids. But I can forgive myself and move on.
And that is something. That takes time. And it. It's part of the healing process and it's totally normal. So let's talk more about how to move on from regret. So, first of all, acknowledge your mistakes. Remember you're a work in progress. You're human and it's absolutely normal to commit mistakes.
But once you've committed a mistake, like face it own up to it. Don't run away from it. I admit it at least to yourself and then understand why the mistake was committed and what you have learned. And once you have comprehended the regret, focus on how to write the wrong or to make up for it, if possible. And that's part of the undo. It.
You know, if there's something that you regret undo it, apologize and try to fix any damage. That can be really helpful. I mean, just like, oh your shit. And move on from it. Another useful concept and moving on from regret. Is at least it. So think about how things could have turned out worst and appreciate that.
At least they didn't. You know? Yeah. I could have quit drinking a long time ago, but at least I stopped when I did. Yeah, I could have. Not driven drunk, but at least no one got hurt. You know, it just kind of helps turn down the volume a little bit, how things could have turned out worse and appreciate that they didn't.
Moving on from regret can involve apologizing. So that's kind of like owning it and acknowledging your mistakes and then apologizing for them. So if your regret is because of something wrong that you did or did set to someone else. The best way to proceed would be to say, you're sorry. And it's not going to undo what has been done.
But it will help lighten your heart and ease the pain and tension of the consequences. So an apology, not only means you respect others' rights to feel hurt. But also shows that you value your relationship more than your ego or your. Your pride. And doing it, not expecting an apology in return. Just do it for yourself.
And all you're going to lose as somebody, your future regrets, and maybe a bit of your pride. Moving on from regret you can use. The 12 sharing. Whenever you feel it's being difficult to bear the load of your regret. Start sharing it with someone you trust. Sharing your feelings will not only prevent you from sliding down a path of denial and repression, but also lessen your pain and lighten your heart.
You can even, you know, if there's not someone you can talk to. You can write it out. You can. Talk to someone anonymously. You can go to a group and share, you know, these groups, whether it's a AA or smart recovery, or if you're in my alcohol a day like that as a place to share. Your regrets. And when you share it,
And then just the act of sane. What you did out loud to other people that can be a tremendous relief and lightening of your heart. Like I said before but even just writing about a regret can make. Those emotions more concrete and it can lighten the burden. So that's what we're really talking about. Like just lightening the burden.
And then you may find like some commonalities that other people have maybe done the same things and they have the same regrets. And that you're not alone.
Moving on from regrets, focus on things you can control. So don't stress yourself out for the things you cannot change or have no control over, you know, it's a good old serenity prayer.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things. I cannot change courage to change the things I can. And wisdom to know the difference. So recognize that you can't control everything and you especially cannot control the past. You can control the present moment. Or because that's the only moment you're in, you can influence the future and there's nothing you can do about the past. And so that's why being mindful is another tool to help with regret.
Because it just helps you stay grounded in the president. You know, the only day you can do anything about is today. So when you place your focus on negative memories, missed opportunities, comparing yourself to others, it doesn't bring positive change. You have to consciously avoid thinking about what should have, could have, or would have happened if you hadn't had, you know, this problem with drinking.
So it's important to stay mindful. Doesn't mean you're completely shutting the door on your past, but just recognizing that the present moment is. Where you are. Okay. And that leads us into showing self-compassion. Self-compassion is just basically treating ourselves with kindness as we might treat someone else.
If someone else came to you and share the same regret. Of. Getting into a fight when they were drinking or drinking too much the night before, or having a slip up and regretting it, how would you deal with them? I'm sure you would be very accepting and loving and. I offer a hug. We'll do the same thing for yourself.
That's the self-compassion. And it just helps reframe the regret as a human imperfection rather than a flaw. Because, like I said is part of the human condition and we aren't perfect. And that's okay.
Use your regrets and embrace the lessons you learned. Every regret has a lesson built-in. So when you're able to turn your regrets into lessons learned rather than like a shameful story that defines who you are, you'll find peace of mind, you know, learning from your experiences, especially the bad ones, help.
It helps you grow as a person. And obviously some regrets. There's not going to be a silver lining. Some regrets are more difficult. I may take some time to learn from, but eventually you'll be able to look back and see that you learned something valuable from that experience. I like the same, that things don't happen to you. They happen for you. And that goes along the line of just learning lessons.
Another thing you can do to manage your regrets is accept your consequences. So sometimes even though you, you know, you try your best to move on, you try your best to make amends. You simply can't men, some past harms. And when that happens, regret may become even more crushing. And you have to learn to accept that there are many things that you have no control over. And the only thing you can do is accept what is and move on.
And so this idea of acceptance is so helpful for many different situations, but the main idea with acceptances accepting things as they are. Not as you would have them be. It doesn't mean that you condone them, that you agree with them. But you're not resisting them. You have to move into just the acceptance about the situation and forgiving yourself and moving on.
Because there are some things that you can't change.
Remember that the important thing is what you're doing right now. You know, it's not what you've done in the past, but what you're doing right now, that's what will determine your future. And you deserve to have a second chance in life, and this will only be possible if you're prepared to move on with your life.
And the way to do this is to now focus on doing positive things. So you begin to reap the rewards of this later on. So looking backwards, it's only gonna hold you back. So the important thing now is for you to keep looking forward. And making progress. You know, we talk a lot about onward, upward tits up.
As just moving on, focusing on the future. You can become a successful human being now, and that's the best thing you could possibly do to make up for the past. If you're still finding, like you're having a lot of guilt and regret, you're having a lot of these persistent feelings. And it's, it's.
It's affecting your happiness and all of life. And you're stuck in the rumination. Speak with a therapist. That's what they're there for. And they can help you deal with. Your past that's what therapists do. So don't discount getting professional help. Another thing to do to help manage regret is to do some service.
Do we volunteer work. That can be an excellent way to overcome feelings of regret and it can actually help boost your self esteem and your giving back. You know, even if you're just trying to do one kind act every day, that can be a great way just to help others. So that is a great way to kind of plant some positive karma seeds and benefit your life in the future.
And understand again, you're just human. It's part of the human condition to make mistakes. Everyone has done things that they deeply regret. It's just vital that you're able to accept your. Imperfections. And move on with life and try to be better in the future. And that's not to justify doing wrong, but to allow you just to function as a happy, fulfilled human being.
And as long as you learn from your mistakes, you don't need to obsess simply beat yourself up over them. Mel Robbins recently shared the statement about living with regret and moving on. And I just want to read it to you because it was very helpful. Well, what she says is at some point we all have to wrestle with regret, shame, making immense compassion and personal growth.
I know I have, and it isn't easy. There are still moments. I beat myself up for the things I did years ago. It's natural to feel remorse and regret. But try not to lay her on the, I'm a piece of shit part growing as a person, especially through mistakes. This is hard. And this is what it looks like to do the work to heal.
My biggest takeaway how necessary it is to separate what you did from who you are at your core. To change and move forward. You must, you won't become a better person by calling yourself a piece of shit. You won't become who you truly are through self-condemnation you must take time to understand what happened and why, and give yourself grace and compassion. As you make amends and seek to learn and grow from the experiences in your life.
Particularly the painful ones. And again, that was Mel Robbins. And I just find that really helpful, you know, that goes back to that self-compassion part, you know, you can't shame yourself to recovery or hate yourself to love like you, you working on self-compassion and being okay and accepting yourself as you are not as you would have yourself be, or as others would have yourself be that is how you move forward.
That is how you move on. Just, I want you to understand that regret is normal. It's part of life and you can learn from it. Another quote I want to share is from Daniel pink, who actually wrote a book about the power of regret. And he says, regret is not dangerous or abnormal. Deviation from the study path to happiness.
It is healthy and universal. An integral part of being human regret is also valuable. It clarifies it instructs. Done right. It needed drag us down. It can lift us up. So I hope that this was helpful for you. And managing regret in your life. I want you to know you're not alone. That we all have regrets and it's okay. I hope that you can find someone to talk to.
You can share your regrets with me. You can reach out to me any time you can email me, Debbie I'll call tippingpoint.com. And just know that you're worth it. You're okay. And. You're human. And that's great. And you have the whole future ahead of you. So thank you for listening to this podcast. Hope you have a wonderful week and I will talk to you next week.