Do you find you go through your day feeling guilty about one thing or another, the donut you shouldn't have ate, your endless yelling at the kids, your lack of exercise or you're frivolous overspending? We are all plighted by the G word. Guilt can consume us if we're not careful, sap our energy and steal away our happiness!
When guilt starts to take the enjoyment out of your day-to-day life, that's when you know it's time to address it, so below I've put together a handful of tips to help you combat your guilty conscience once and for all.
Create an energy drainer list.
We all have things in our lives that continue to drain our energy and make us feel guilty; the gloating best friend, the mountain of ironing or the disorganised paperwork. Looking at these things day in and day out drains and depletes our energy levels leaving us feeling weary and apathetic. Make a list of ten things in your life that are sapping your energy. Then write a list of ten actions that will eliminate these 'energy drainers' from your life once and for all. This could be putting your bills on direct debit, buying a filing cabinet or spending less time with draining friends. Put your list on the fridge door and work your way through the items over the next 30 days. Get rid of those energy drainers so you can put your energy in to more positive and enjoyable things.
Say No to more responsibility.
Do you find yourself saying 'YES' when you know you ought to really be saying 'NO'? Do you find yourself organising your best friend's hen do, whilst spending your evenings sewing millions of sequins onto 29 outfits for the school play? If you're the type that constantly over commits, you need to realise you're not a superhero! You cannot do it all, and if you try, it'll be you that suffers in the long-run. Learn how to say 'no' gracefully and take the weight off your shoulders. Value yourself, because if you don't, no one else will! Write a list of ten brand new boundaries and start enforcing them today!
Keep a gratitude journal.
Each night write a list of ten things that you are grateful for both big and small. Your list might look something like this:
. I'm grateful for dad's help today with the garden
. I'm grateful for the Tesco deliveryman
. I'm grateful that Poppy did well in her exam
. I'm grateful I have a healthy body
Keeping a gratitude journal highlights the good in your life and what's particularly amazing; you start to notice even more things to appreciate. You start scanning the world in a totally different way. This is a great way to change your focus on life and feel more content.
Stay Away From People Who Make You Feel Guilty.
It sounds obvious, but maybe you were a child who picked at scabs. You know you shouldn't spend time with those individuals who deplete your energy and leave you feeling guilt ridden - so stop doing it! Chose your friendships wisely and mix with those of a sunny disposition.
OK you've heard it all before, but seriously, the best advice I can give to you regarding navigating out of the clutches of guilt is to practice self-love. It's vitally important that we make time for ourselves each week. We have to recognise when we have become unbalanced or when we have low self esteem, and take care of our own well-being both physically, mentally and spiritually. When we do this, it shows the outside world that we care and value ourselves and when others see this, they start treating us with the love and respect we deserve. Ask yourself today: If you could spend a little time nourishing yourself, what would you do? From having an early night with your favourite book, spending an afternoon clothes shopping alone, to enjoying a weekend away at a spa. Commit to making a weekly appointment with yourself and enjoy some guilt-free me time.
Louise Presley-Turner is one of the UK's leading lifestyle experts and author of Finding a Future That Fits (Hay House 2012) Get your Life Evaluator now at www.thegameoflife.co.uk