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Unresolved Guilt: How Does it Affect You?

GuiltGuilt is a common response following loss and/or traumatic experiences with significant victimization. When events result in severe traumatic reactions, multiple losses can occur. In addition to deaths, parts of one’s own nature as well as resources, circumstances, and expectations can be altered or lost. Guilt can occur not only in relationship to what we ought or ought not to do but in relationship to our views about what we ought to be. What is possible under normal circumstances, however, is often not possible under traumatic circumstances. Therefore, assessing responsibility based on normal conditions for what happened during traumatic events may result in faulty assessment.

Here’s what all that unresolved guilt is doing to your body:

Unresolved Guilt Fogs Your Brain

If you have brain fog, you have poor short-term memory, difficulty learning new things and poor mental stamina or concentration. Do you have a hard time finding the right word, or do you think one word but say another? If you do, you have brain fog that could be caused by unresolved guilt. Can you imagine being so consumed by guilty feelings that you can’t even think straight?

woman-foot-scale-400x400Unresolved Guilt Makes You Gain Weight

When you feel guilty you feel stressed out. When you feel stressed out you reach for comfort foods to temporarily relieve the stress you feel. Comfort foods aren’t the healthiest foods, and if you eat enough of them with some frequency, they’re bound to make you pack on the pounds. But if you make a healthy, balanced diet part of your life, smart food choices will become second nature to you. Then, when you’re feeling guilty and stressed, you’ll be less likely to reach for a donut or two or three.

Unresolved Guilt Keeps You From Enjoying Life

How can you enjoy your life when you’re feeling guilty about something? Maybe you feel like you don’t deserve to enjoy life because of the hurt you’ve caused someone else. Have you gone to a wedding, graduation or witnessed the birth of a child and felt lukewarm about it? Do you feel like something is blocking your ability to enjoy and celebrate life? That block could be unresolved guilt!

Unresolved Guilt Makes You Self-Punish

People with unresolved guilt often feel like they deserve to suffer. The think suffering makes them a better person, and they choose to punish themselves. Many cultures equate pain with purification and cleansing the body of undesirable aspects, so punishing ourselves makes up for the hurt we’ve caused another. Self-punishment can take many forms, from negative self-talk to self-injury. But you can change the way you speak to yourself with positive affirmations. If you’re physically harming yourself, you need to seek medical attention right away.

Better Ways to Cope

The best way to cope with unresolved guilt is to resolve it! Whether it’s apologizing to someone for hurting them or making your peace with the guilt you feel long after they’ve left this earth, you need to do positive things that will bring you closure and peace of mind. Try these tips:

1. Apologize and ask for forgiveness. Sometimes just hearing the words “I forgive you” can give you the closure you need and flip an emotional switch that improves your mental health.

forgiveness-prayer2. If they person you’ve wronged is deceased, you can still reach out to them for forgiveness. Speak with a psychic medium and connect to the other side. Not only will you be able to convey your apology to a deceased loved one, but that deceased loved one can also convey their forgiveness through the psychic medium.

3. Realize you’re not just punishing yourself; you’re punishing others too. Whether it’s a spouse, your children or a pet, when you’re consumed by guilt you can’t be the best partner or caretaker.

4. Know that everyone makes mistakes and the person you’ve hurt has most likely hurt someone else at some point in their life. That doesn’t excuse what you did; it’s just a reminder that all humans make mistakes.

Don’t let unresolved guilt consume you. It’s causing more damage than you think!

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