Stuck With Feelings of Regret? Here’s How You Can Let Them Go

There may be times in your life where you’d really like to kick yourself for saying or doing something, as you regret it deeply. You think about it more often than you’d like. In fact, some people are haunted by regrets so much that it keeps them up at night.

Is it really possible to live your life without regret? Can you really let mistakes and negative situations go? Let’s look at how you can live your life without falling prey to living with regret.

What Does It Mean to Regret?

To regret something means that you feel bad about something you either did or didn’t do. You can also regret things that you’ve said or didn’t say to others. Here are some common examples:

  • Maybe you mistreated someone in the past and now you feel terrible about it. You regret that you were so mean.
  • Maybe you regret months or years that you spent partying or being irresponsible.
  • Perhaps you regret not taking seriously the advice of your parents or mentors.
  • You may have burned down bridges with loved ones that you now regret.
  • You might also regret not telling that special someone how you really felt about them and now they are happily married with children.

There are plenty of things you could regret, but feeling these emotions won’t necessarily help you out. In fact, it could cause you to become sad, anxious, or deeply depressed.

How to Move Past Emotional Pain

If you let emotional pain continue to rule your life, you’re likely going to experience suffering. There’s a saying that says, “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional”. This is quite true.

You can learn to move past pain by accepting that certain things have happened and you can’t control them now. That’s all in the past. Embrace the reality that you can give up control in that regard and focus on what you can control right now – your thought life. When you can get a grip on your thoughts, you can eliminate past emotional pain and move on.

Using affirmations is one way to start letting go of regret. You remind yourself of what’s true for you right now.

For example, let’s say you called an old friend a horrible name years ago. You regret it, you’ve apologized for it, but you can’t let yourself off the hook. You still feel horrible about it.

You could say, “Sure, I made a mistake by calling her that name and it was quite mean, but I genuinely apologized. I choose to forgive myself for it right now. I am not the same person as I was back then. I’ve grown in many ways and I no longer do things like that. I let go of regret and I’m moving on.”

You can use affirmations for any area or action that you regret. Maybe you regret not saving money through the years. Don’t let regret eat you alive.

Say, “I was not financially wise through the years, but now I take control over my finances day by day. I forgive myself and make the intent to live each day in appreciation for what I have now. I choose financial responsibility.”

Then, let that regret go.

Seize the Day

Begin to live for today and do your best to let go of the past. It’s over and there’s nothing you can do about it except learn from it. You don’t have to let regret ruin your present life. In fact, you can seize the present day in many ways, including:

  • Singing. Singing can help you go from negative to positive. When you start obsessing about what you’re regretful for, put on some music and start singing. Sing in the car, in the shower, or anywhere you feel appropriate. If you’re a singer/songwriter, get to creating some new music. There is healing you can receive through music.
  • Take care of yourself. When you feel good, you tend to take better care of yourself. Practice caring for yourself on all levels.
  • Go hike in nature, grab some good food with a friend, etc. You’ll feel better about yourself in no time and this is exactly what you want – to feel good!
  • Get out of your comfort zone. Change things up by doing something out of your comfort zone. This puts you living in the present moment, which can help thoughts about the past dwindle away.
  • Do something exciting you’ve been afraid to do for your whole life. Go for that new job you’ve been dreaming about. Travel to a destination you’ve put off out of fear. Ask that person out for coffee. Start learning a new language or playing an instrument. Make a list of things you think would be super fun and begin doing them one by one. You’ll feel regret leaving you as you step out of your comfort zone.


You don’t have to live a life of regret. Learn from your mistakes and do your best not to repeat them. Life is a journey full of opportunities to learn and grow. When you can focus on present living, you will think less and less about the past. There is nothing you can do to change the past, so resolve today to just let it go.

If you find yourself struggling to let go or make the changes you desire, consider reaching out for help from a coach or therapist. You may simply need some guidance and insight. There are various tools that they can equip you with that will help you live more in the present, rather than getting stuck in the past.


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