8 Ways to Deal with Regret Effectively

8 Ways to Deal with Regret Effectively

If you ever get a chance to ask old people about what they regret in their life, I’m pretty sure most of them would say either one of the following:


I wish I didn’t care much about what other people thought of me.



I wish I could have spent more time with the people who mean the world to me.


I wish I had not wasted my time and used my entire potential.


A profound sense of grief or disappointment over a previous event or past choice is what is referred to by the word regret. It is a feeling that develops when we feel that we could have done something differently or made a better decision. Regret has the ability to have a significant influence on our life, affecting our thoughts, feelings, and behaviour.


Regret can have long-lasting psychological and behavioural impacts. First of all, remorse often prompts reflection, allowing us to think about our past actions and choices. As we challenge our judgement and consider potential choices, this self-reflection may be both insightful and stressful. It can cause grief, dissatisfaction and even guilt, resulting in an ongoing emotional burden that we carry with us.


Regret comes in different shapes and sizes. Some of the major forms of regrets are – your wrong decision, the decision which you didn’t take, some quality or trait you wish you could have changed or regret regarding a relationship.


Whatever the regret you may have, it is imperative that you learn to deal with regret in a healthy manner for your own personal growth and well-being.



Read further to uncover some tips on how to deal with regret and move on with your life. Dealing with regret is important and once you make peace with it, you will feel a huge weight off your shoulders. 

8 Ways to Deal with Regret Effectively

Acknowledge and accept

Accept that you are feeling regret and that regret is a normal human emotion. Avoid rejecting or repressing these feelings since they can reappear later. Recognising your regret enables you to face it head-on. 

Reflect and Learn

Reflect on your actions to identify the causes that led to the regrettable choice or behaviour. Describe what you could have changed and the lessons you took away from the situation. Utilise this information to decide your future choices wisely.

Practice Self-Compassion

Don’t be too hard on yourself, and practise self-compassion. Recognise that everyone makes errors, and that remorse is a chance for development. Be understanding, forgiving, and kind to yourself.

Seek Perspective

Take a setback and try to see things without getting emotional about it, see things from a broader perspective. Consider how significant the regrettable choice or behaviour will be in the overall context of your life. Putting things into perspective occasionally helps lessen the severity of regret.

Make Amends

If your regret involves causing pain to someone else, then try to make things right if possible. Apologise truly, take responsibility for your wrong doings and set things rights if you can. This promotes healing and forgiveness, both for yourself and the one wronged. SET THINGS RIGHT, THAT CAN BE DONE.

Practise Forgiveness

Excuse yourself for previous slip-ups. Holding onto self-blame and guilt only prolongs the negative impact of regret. Remember that forgiveness is a process and may take time. Treat yourself with the same compassion and understanding you would extend to others.

Focus on the Present and Future

Remember, not to beat yourself up. Direct your energy toward the present moment and future opportunities. If there’s something that can still be done in the future, without hurting others, go do it. For example, if you failed and repeated a class because you didn’t study hard, then don’t wallow in regret and self-pity. Acknowledge and accept what has happened. Think of what can be done. Yes, you can study hard this time and pass the class, so do it.

Before achieving success as an author, J.K. Rowling experienced personal setbacks and regrets. However, she transformed her difficult past into inspiration for the beloved “Harry Potter” series, becoming one of the most successful authors in history.

Seek Support

Bottling up your feelings can be detrimental to you. Speak to someone you trust only or a therapist about your feelings of regret. If you don’t have anyone to pour out your pain to then write it down and paper and dispose of that paper. Writing down your pain can help you to release bottled-up emotions


Although regret is an unavoidable aspect of life, it need not be our identity. We can use our regrets as direct our energy for development and constructive change by embracing, admitting, and learning from them. Powerful techniques for dealing with regret and liberating ourselves from its weight include changing our perspective, atoning where we can, and living in the present.

Remember that since we are only human, we will inevitably make mistakes. What matters most is how we handle those errors. So let go of the past, accept your faults, and go on to a regret-free future that is rich with joy, development, and infinite opportunity.

Let me know in the comment section some of the regrets you had in your life. 

While regret is often associated with negative emotions, it can surely at times also serve as a catalyst for positive change. Regret can motivate us to reassess our choices, learn from our mistakes, and make better decisions in the future. When done correctly, regret can be a powerful tool for personal growth and self-improvement.

To stop dwelling on past regrets, try redirecting your focus on the present.  Engage in activities that bring you joy, practice self-care, and surround yourself with positive influences. Being mindful of your actions and using meditation can also help cultivate a sense of presence and release the grip of regret.

Acceptance is key when you cannot change the outcome of your past actions. Recognize that dwelling on what cannot be changed only hinders your ability to move forward. Instead, focus on what you can control: your attitude, choices, and actions in the present moment.

Feeling regret about missed opportunities is a common experience. It's natural to wonder what could have been if we had made different choices. However, it's important to remember that dwelling on missed opportunities prevents us from embracing new ones. Use your regrets as lessons and motivation to seize future opportunities.

Forgiving yourself for past mistakes requires self-compassion and understanding. Remind yourself that everyone makes mistakes and that you are deserving of forgiveness. Practice self-care, engage in positive self-talk, and seek support from loved ones or a therapist if needed. It may take time, but with patience and self-love, forgiveness is achievable.

2 thoughts on “8 Ways to Deal with Regret Effectively”

  1. Ana Fay P Goes

    Sometimes, some of us may take some decisions only to realise later they will live their life regretting it. How can one help someone to accept the reality and not feel stuck but turn the situation in their favour and look at the bright side?

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