Many people live with regrets, wishing they could have done something differently in their past. They have that ‘if only’ mentality, which brings with it a desire to turn back time and change the way things happened.
Regret may seem harmless enough, but it is actually more damaging than you might think. Although it may help you avoid making bad decisions in the future, it still remains a negative state of mind. It involves self-blaming and helplessness, and dwelling on both can compromise your psychological, emotional and physical health.
Instead of the ‘if only’ mentality, embrace and adopt the ‘only if’ way of thinking. Acknowledge the past and welcome the lessons you have learned along the way, but then move on. Turn the bad experience into a good one and be more appreciative. You will be healthier emotionally if you choose to look on the bright side of life.
How does this example of regret and appreciation help build the connection between positive thoughts and emotional wellbeing? Studies support the claim that positive thoughts work wonders on emotional wellbeing – and the results are best understood in the context of appreciation.
Appreciation is one positive emotion that’s easy for anyone to generate. You can always think of something to appreciate, which gives you feelings of gratitude. When you focus on this, you can eliminate stressful thoughts, or at least reduce them by introducing more positive thought patterns.
Every time you encounter something that causes you to have negative emotions, think of something positive, which will put you in a better place emotionally. If regret creeps in, immediately recall a time when you felt most appreciated or most grateful.
Replacing negative thoughts with positive ones can be mastered over time, so always keep trying. It’s not just your emotional wellbeing that will benefit, but your physical health too…especially your heart.