What can I do about feeling guilty all the time?

I have posted over 100 kindness #coronavirus ‘contact me’ cards around my neighbourhood this week and received 6 ‘yes please’ replies and lots of ‘thank you’ responses.  Yet, I still feel #guilty that I’m not doing enough to help.  Why is that?

A recent study found that 96% of women feel guilty every day, but it’s not just women.

#Guilt is primarily linked to “causing another person physical or psychological pain” but can also come from the belief that “you’ve broken a social or moral code, or your own ethical code” – even if your belief is completely unfounded.

Guilt is also an emotion which involves thinking about others and our behaviour in relation to them.  Because we are socialised to think and worry for others before we think of ourselves, we seem to be more affected by it.

We’re also more likely to feel #ImpostorSyndrome – which is a form of guilt – if we do well at something where we feel we don’t deserve to.

Have you ever made plans to meet up with friends waaay in advance, but when the date comes around to it, your mind is full of so much ‘other stuff’ that you feel you can’t consider meeting up with friends.  When you cancel, it makes you feel like a terrible person so we can sometimes make up some ridiculous lie =just to make ourselves feel better and not upset our friend.  But honestly, your friend wouldn’t really be upset…but we adopt that false belief so that we can adopt guilt.  Does anyone else do this?

Guilt affects our health and happiness.  It can negatively impact our immune system and could lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, depression and anxiety.

But #men can be seen as the providers, so when they see us having a hard time and they can’t ‘fix us’, guilt can play out for them too.

So, what can we all do to ease the burden of guilt for us all?

When are you going to say STOP because nobody is perfect.

Firstly, work out if your guilt is just a reflection of the society we live in or you have actually done something wrong?

Try recognising what you can realistically control and ignore what you can’t and focus on addressing anything you can affect.

In summary, most of us are doing the best we can. So just be kind to yourself by asking yourself this question:  ‘What do I need to help me get through this moment?’

Whatever ‘IT’ is, go ahead and give it to yourself and challenge perfectionism – having flaws is only human.

You’ll have more emotional strength to face the issue when you’re ready.

Julie xx