On my first ever trip to Europe, my best friend and I tried to jam pack as many countries and activities in so we wouldn’t miss out on anything. I wanted to make sure it would be the trip of a lifetime and follow suit with countless Instagram posts of beautiful sunsets, beach selfies and wild times all plastered with #noregrets.
One particular #noregrets activity came about paragliding in Austria. Doing this while incredibly hungover, however, turned out be to #manyregrets. I was instructed to run down the slope of the hill to make the most use of the oncoming gust of wind. Instead, I fell and was almost entangled in the strings while my instructor yelled at me, “Get up! Get up!” in front of the waiting paragliders behind me.
Don’t get me wrong, when I managed to get up and into the air, it was an amazing experience whirling around over the lush green landscapes of Tyrol. Although, when I landed again and got a ride back to the hostel, the overwhelming g-force mixed with a high blood alcohol content caught up to me in the form of a churning stomach and incredible motion sickness. I decided from that point on, trying to live my life with no regrets was way too much pressure and highly unachievable.
This led me to accept the fact, everybody has regrets. While it can be hard to remember this with the ever prevalent, my-life-is-better-than-your-life social media posts, it is safe to say everyone at some point is facing some form of remorse, but also the ability to overcome it.
BE HONEST ABOUT REGRET
Don’t be one of those annoying people and say you live life with no regrets. Not only is that irritating to hear but creates a culture where supposedly regret shouldn’t exist. It exists because it is a natural human feeling and sharing regrettable experiences with other vinas is a way of bonding and promoting better mental health.
TALK ABOUT IT WITH YOURSELF AS IF YOU’RE TALKING TO A FRIEND
We’re so quick to brutally judge ourselves. Imagine saying to your best friend, “Hey idiot! Why would you do that?! You’re a terrible person!” That conversation doesn’t happen because everyone is a lot kinder to others than they are to themselves. If you wouldn’t say it to your close friend, don’t say it to yourself.
ACT ON IT
Inaction is the biggest blunder to make when overcoming regret. Sitting there, dwelling on the mistakes you’ve made will eat you alive. I’ve spent many countless hours in bed at night thinking about something I shouldn’t have said to someone. After speaking to that person and sorting out our differences, I realized the conversations in real life are always better than the unforgiving ones in your head.
WRITE ABOUT IT
A poem, music lyrics, a blog post, all useful outlets to talk about regret. Not only is it extremely cathartic but gives other people an insight into understanding what you went through and may help them overcome their own issues. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”
How have you dealt with regret in your past? Share in the comments!
Feature photo by Jenavieve.