According to Rabbi Shmuley, guilt is a negative emotion that can freeze us in our tracks and prevent us from moving forward in life. Feeling guilty about things can also become a cheap substitute for taking action and actually improving a situation, he says. Rabbi Shmuley talks about some of the most common guilt trips people face today and how to get over them.
Ways to Overcome Guilt:
"I don't spend enough time with my kids."
Instead of feeling guilty about it, correct it, Rabbi Shmuley says. Make more time to spend with your children, and maximize the time you do have with them. "If you're stuck at the office late, make it up to them later with a bedtime story or a special trip to their favorite park over the weekend," he says.
"I can't give my kids everything their friends have."
Try your best to get over it. They don't need the latest and hottest video games, toys and clothes anyway, Rabbi Shmuley says. Put an end to guilt that comes from comparing yourself to other parents.
"I don't spend enough time with my elderly parents."
Make time to see them more. If you can't physically go visit them, begin an effort to reconnect. It's as easy as picking up the phone or writing a letter. If you've been absent for a while, don't let guilt freeze you from reaching out to them and becoming a bigger part of their lives.
"I fought with my spouse last week, and I never apologized."
"It's simple—listen to that feeling and don't put it off," Rabbi Shmuley says. "Apologize now."
"I don't work hard enough."
Laziness is a syndrome of guilt, Rabbi Shmuley says. "Get the adrenaline pumping and get working!" he says. "The more you do, the more you'll be propelled to keep going."
"Guilt is one of the most negative emotions because it's utterly immobilizing. Rather than feel bad about the negative things we do, we ought to not do them. Commit yourself to positive action. What we should never do is think that we're good people because we feel bad about the negative actions we perpetrate."