Regret Keeps Us Stuck: How to Move Past Regret

The more you think about your regrets, the bigger they grow and can overtake your present life. Get useful tips for overcoming regret.

Regret Keeps Us Stuck: How to Move Past Regret

How do you overcome regret? Mental health challenges, no matter their specific nature, can keep us stuck in the past, ruminating over things that have gone wrong. Whether its relationships that have changed, jobs that have been lost (whether voluntarily or involuntarily), things that have been done or left undone, said or unsaid, thinking about the past can lead to regret.

The more you think about your regrets, the bigger they grow. They overshadow your positive memories and they overtake your present.

Try these tips for leaving the past behind and overcoming regret:

  • Use mindfulness to pull your thoughts out of the past so you can live fully in the present. Pay attention to what you are doing and the choices you can make now. You can’t undo the past, but you can live fully and intentionally in the present to create the quality life and relationships you desire right now and into the future.
  • Forgive yourself and others. Forgiveness is freeing. It doesn’t mean that you suddenly forget about something awful or are happy about what someone did to you. Forgiving means deciding to let go of the hurt, move past what is over, and focus on what is happening now.
  • Go on a photo scavenger hunt and take pictures of what’s good in your life now despite what happened in the past. This shifts your thoughts and helps you realize that the bad stuff in the past hasn’t ruined your life.

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APA Reference
Peterson, T. (2021, March 16). Regret Keeps Us Stuck: How to Move Past Regret, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 19 from

Last Updated: March 15, 2021

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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