Guilt & the Negative Effect on Mental Health

I am a very emotional person. I will cry my heart out watching a movie (the characters literally take me on their journey, I feel every emotion they feel), hearing a story about something sad, watching something people innocently share on Facebook about some kind of cruelty that I can’t take my eyes off despite the fact that it’s making my heart hurt, pretty much anything can make me sad but I can handle that because I get to enjoy the other side of being an emotional person and I feel happy when I see or hear about happy things (I also cry then too *eye roll*… although they are happy tears 😉 ).

But guilt… guilt is one emotion that I am sick of!

guilt_carry-man

Don’t get me wrong, some level of guilt as an emotion is needed as it can help us to maintain strong relationships with other people but feel too much guilt over long periods of time and it can have an extremely detrimental effect on our mental health, damaging our relationships (with other people and with ourselves), our ability to concentrate and so much more.

If we are constantly feeling guilty over something, how will we ever believe we are enough?

AND WE ARE ENOUGH!

How many of us feel guilty for something at least once a day? I bet there are a lot of you reading this nodding your heads right now!

There always seems to be something to feel guilty about, especially if you are a ‘people-pleaser’ like me. I have wasted many, many hours feeling guilty about something or other and I for one, am over it!

TalkToTheHandEmoji

In this day and age, where we are all super busy running from one thing to the next, there just isn’t enough time to please everyone and if we don’t do something someone wants us to do, or something we think we should be doing, we feel guilty. So on top of us running around like blue arsed flies 24/7, we then also feel like we are never doing enough and that is damaging our mental health.

We subconsciously prioritise what we need to be doing every single day and sometimes we simply don’t have time left for anything else.

Right now, I am trying to stop the battle in my head as I’m thinking I should (there’s that word again), be going to the gym and instead I’m sat here writing this.

So let’s take a step back. Step back and look at that word ‘should’.

My sister, who is a new mum, (my gorgeous niece, Annabelle has just turned one ❤ ), told me that one great piece of advice she was given when she first had Annabelle, was to remove the word ‘should’ from her vocabulary.

What f*cking fantastic advice! Mind = Blown!

Let’s stop feeling like we should be doing something. We can either do it or we can’t. There is nothing in between except a whole world of guilt. Let’s give ourselves a bloody break! Can I get a fist bump?? 

You can’t turn on the TV these days without feeling guilty for something. We live in a world where there is sadness, terror, starvation and struggling and yet from a young age, we are taught to feel guilt instead of feeling gratitude that we live in a part of the world where we have food on our plates and a roof over our head.

One example of this is being made to eat all the food on our plates because there are ‘poor children starving all over the world’. What? Think about it. Those poor children will still be starving whether you force down that sausage or not. Even if you don’t eat it, you can’t send it to them.

You literally can’t stop world hunger by eating everything on your plate but you can feel guilty for leaving it.

There’s a massive difference between being grateful for everything we eat and force feeding ourselves and our children under the pretence that it’s going to help starving children. There are plenty of little things that we can do that aren’t time consuming that will help; making a charitable donation, dropping food parcels off at the local food bank, buying lunch for a homeless person, etc.

Us girls tend to spend a lot of time feeling guilty about food in general and will feel miserable for a whole afternoon because we ate a piece of cake. Why do we do it to ourselves? It’s cake. It’s just cake.

So I am writing this blog post to anyone out there listening. If this post resonates with you and you’ve stopped what you are doing to read it and are sat / stood there nodding away…

…let’s consciously stop feeling guilty about the things we cannot change.

Let’s allow ourselves to notice the feeling when it pops up, (which it will), think about whether it’s something we can change and if not, let it wash over us. In the clever words of Disney’s fabulous cartoon, ‘Frozen’….LET IT GO.

If we can’t change the thing that is making us feel guilty, that feeling is not useful to us.

We need to allow ourselves to feel like we are enough and we are doing enough. If you are prone to feeling guilty, it generally means you are the type of person that will be doing as much as possible to make everyone happy anyway.

So give yourself a break.

With love, Tash ❤ x

 

 

 

 

4 Comments Add yours

  1. cockers34 says:

    Amen Tash, Amen! We need to stop should-Ing all over ourselves – and no food around food EVER! Food has no moral value – there is no good food and bad food, there is just food. Well said my love xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks honey!! 😚 I just get so sick of feeling bloody guilty. Enough is enough right! Xxx

      Like

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