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How to end the feeling of guilt?


The feeling of guilt is a frequent consultation of clients or patients who come to the consultations of those who work as coaches, psychologists, therapists or psychiatrists. Therefore, it is very important to learn to overcome guilt in any therapy that is performed and not fall into chronic psychological guilt.

What causes guilt?

When we become aware of our acts and omissions, of our actions and inactions, it may be that we have done or failed to do things for which we feel guilty and want to compensate for the damage, asking forgiveness and repairing the damage caused. This is very healthy and is part of proper emotional management and a healthy level of self-esteem. The problem happens when that feeling of guilt is due to a distortion cognitive because we blame for having lost a job, for example, or a relationship of friendship or partner, when the reality is that the fact that personal relationship or contract has finished does not depend only on us.

Feeling guilty chronically can be given by patterns learned in childhood or in the school, by having received a very manipulative education, by an excess of perfectionism or self-demand, among other reasons.

How to end the feeling of guilt?

Feeling guilty is healthy and adaptive, when we have caused harm to someone or something. What stops being healthy, adaptive and becomes pathological is when we constantly feel guilty for everything in life or for situations that do not respond to objective reasons why one should feel guilty.

I have seen people in my practice who felt very guilty for having separated or divorced, for not having attended to their children and be absent as mothers or fathers when they were young, by not taking care of their parents, their friends or members of their families properly, by the suicide of a loved one, for not having studied or have not worked in the job or in life, and these are just some of the examples I can name among a long list of reasons why a person may feel guilty.

One of the best practices you can do to free yourself from your guilt is mental training through Mindfulness. There are meditations and practices of compassion through which you can reduce or lighten the feelings that produces that guilt that weighs so much on you and one of them is the one that I am going to propose you to do next:

  • Sit down to meditate for about 15 minutes, without anything or anyone bothering you, turning off your phone and disconnecting from all the interference that comes from outside.
  • Bring attention to the breath and do about 3-5 deep breaths and exhalations.
  • As you calm your mind with your breath, bring your attention to the part of your body where you feel the most guilt. It can be the chest area, torso, abdominal area, head or throat. Wherever you feel that sensation more present, take the attention and rest in these bodily sensations, without judging them or trying to change them.
  • It may be that those bodily sensations that you feel are not pleasant and that they are a little unpleasant. In that case, take your hands to that area and feel the soothing touch of the hands in your body, the warmth of your hands and feel comforted by this kind and loving touch of yourself towards you.
  • You can mentally color this area of the body in which you feel the guilt. As you feel the touch of your hands and breathing are calming the discomfort, see if the color is becoming lighter or the edges of the colored stain disappear.
  • Simply rest on this observation of guilt and breathe, feel your breath and your soothing touch. See how you feel when you embrace this emotion and look at it with a loving, accepting gaze.

If you want to know more about this topic, sign up for the Superior Course of Mindfulness of Deusto Salud.

You may also be interested in knowing how to eliminate negative thoughts and thus not feed the feeling of guilt, which is fed back on the basis of judgments and self-criticism.

Once you have read this article, do you want to share your opinion with us? Do you have a tendency to feel guilty in life and blame yourself for everything? Tell us about your experience. We will be happy to read you and solve your questions or doubts about it.

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