2. Surrender guilt with tears.
One physical way to release guilt if you’re fixated on a mistake you made or not meeting someone’s expectations is to cry. Do this when you’re alone or with a supportive person.
Tears release stress hormones and help you heal. As you cry, your body expels guilt and tension. This helps you let it all go. Don’t fight the surrender of crying. Let tears cleanse stress from your body.
3. Know your guilt buttons.
No one can make you feel guilty if don’t believe you’ve done something wrong. However, if you doubt yourself, guilt can creep in. Believing you are doing the best you can in a situation can quell any guilt and bring comfort no matter what anyone says.
4. Set limits.
Start a conversation positively. In a matter-of-fact tone say, “I can see your point of view. But when you say (fill in the blank) my feelings are hurt. I’d be grateful if you didn’t keep repeating it.”
You might make some topics taboo such as money, sex, or personal appearance. Keep the conversation light, don’t go for their bait, and try to gradually heal your insecurities so you don’t buy into theirs.
Be aware that there’s a difference between healthy remorse and guilt. Remorse is regretting how a situation turned out or how you behaved. Then you can acknowledge the mistake and make amends. You’ll feel genuinely sorry, but you don’t stay stuck there. Guilt, however, is when you become attached to remorse and self-blame, a reverse form of ego where you keep focusing on a “lacking” or a mistake.
Written by Dr. Judith Orloff MD Originally appeared on Dr. Judith Orloff MD