Month: March 2023

How To Stop Feeling Guilty?

Guilt is an unsettling emotion that we all have experienced at some point in our lives. It is a feeling of remorse, regret, or self-reproach that arises when we believe we have done something wrong. Or else – that we have failed to do something we should have done.


Guilt can indeed serve as a valuable motivator to rethink our behavior and make amends. Anyway, excessive or prolonged guilt can be damaging to our mental health and overall well-being.


In the paragraphs below, we will look deeper into the nature of guilt and its unfavorable effects, as well as examine some real-life tips to overcome toxic guilt and move on.


Understanding Guilt: What Is It, and Why Do We Experience It?


Guilt is a complicated emotion that can emerge from different situations and circumstances. It is often associated with morality and ethical behavior and is experienced when we believe we have violated an important principle.


Put simply – it’s the subjective feeling that we’ve deviated from our moral compass. Yet, this doesn’t necessarily need to be the objective truth about the situation.


Guilt can be triggered by a wide range of behaviors or actions, such as lying, cheating, stealing, breaking promises, or hurting others. In these cases, we have an objectively true belief that we’ve messed up.


Anyway, guilt can also be coupled with feelings of inadequacy, self-doubt, or shame. In these cases, we might find ourselves struggling with remorse that we did not deserve in any way.


Types of Guilt and Why Do You Feel It


As we already hinted above, guilt can take many different forms, depending on the circumstances and individual backgrounds. However, some of the most common types of guilt are, but are not limited to, the following:


  • Natural guilt emerges when we have broken our personal moral code or values. It is a healthy form of regret that can encourage us to reevaluate our behavior and make amends.
  • Collective guilt occurs when we belong to a group or community that has done something wrong or harmful to others. It is frequently associated with historical events or social injustices.
  • Chronic guilt is a persistent feeling of remorse or self-blame that can be more challenging to overcome. It may be linked to childhood experiences, trauma, or a deep-seated belief that one is fundamentally flawed or unworthy.
  • Survivor guilt is experienced by those who have survived a traumatic event or tragedy while others have not. It can be associated with feelings of culpability, shame, or responsibility for the suffering of others.
  • Reactive guilt is activated by external factors, such as the disapproval or criticism of others. It may be related to additional factors, such as a need for validation or a fear of rejection.
  • Existential guilt is related to broader philosophical or existential concerns, such as the purpose of life, the essence of existence, or the inevitableness of death.
  • Maladaptive guilt has to do with events you had no control over. It is excessive and irrational and may be correlated to anxiety, depression, or other underlying mental health conditions.
  • Parent guilt is experienced by parents who feel they have failed as caregivers or providers for their children. It often goes hand in hand with postpartum depression and affects both mothers and fathers.

Recognizing the type of guilt you’re feeling and its roots is key to building your strategy for overcoming it – especially if it’s a toxic guilt that damages your long-term well-being.


negative effects of guilt

The Negative Effects of Guilt: How Does It Impact Your Mental Health


Feeling guilty after you’ve cheated is a rather normal emotional reaction, and it will persist until you sort the circumstances out with your partner. However, feeling guilty about it forever and projecting your guilt in every following relationship becomes borderline toxic and self-sabotaging behavior.


Chronic guilt can lead to anxiety, depressive moods, and damaged self-esteem. It can also give rise to multiple physical manifestations, such as headaches, digestive problems, and sleep disturbances.


This kind of guilt can also be a significant obstacle to personal growth and development. It can hold you back from taking risks, stop you from trying new things or make you unconfident about chasing your dreams.


8 Tips For Overcoming Toxic Guilt and Growing Out of Your Guilt Complex

If you find that guilt negatively impacts your life, several strategies can help you overcome these feelings and move on.

#1 Identify the Source of Guilt

First and foremost, you’ll need to recognize the root cause of guilt and work through it. It could stem from a variety of sources, such as a specific event, a relationship, or a personal belief system. Next, take time to reflect on what triggered the feelings of guilt and what underlying beliefs or values may be contributing to these feelings.

Working through guilt may involve journaling, talking to a trusted friend or family member, or seeking therapy. Through these activities, you can analyze the core rationale behind guilt and form a deeper understanding of why it’s affecting you.

#2 Practice Self-Compassion

Embracing self-kindness and relinquishing past mistakes is a potent mechanism for growing out of your feelings of guilt. It involves treating yourself with the same kindness, consideration, and support you would show to a close friend.

Some ways to practice self-compassion include positive self-talk, focusing on your strengths and accomplishments, and indulging in pursuits that gratify and complete you. At the end of the day, self-forgiveness and acceptance are worth more than a thousand praises by someone else.

#3 Accept The Fact That Perfection Doesn’t Exist

Many of us struggle with guilt because of the unconquerable heights of perfection we set for ourselves. However, it’s crucial to remember that perfection is an unrealistic and unattainable goal and that it’s exactly mistakes and flaws that make us human.

By accepting perfection is neither natural nor healthy, you can renounce the guilt of falling short of unrealistic expectations. Instead, focus on progress and growth, and celebrate every tiny step along the way.

#4 Learn to Forgive Yourself and Others

Moving on from guilt always begins with forgiveness. This includes both forgiving ourselves for past mistakes and forgiving others who may have contributed to our regrets. This is usually easier said than done, especially if toxic feelings of guilt arise from childhood trauma or abuse.

It’s not easy to let go of anger, resentment, and blame. The process can involve practicing empathy and compassion towards ourselves and others and focusing on positive experiences and memories instead of dwelling on the negative.

Sometimes, though, long-term therapy is the healthiest way to overcome thought patterns rooted in traumatic experiences and learned behaviors.

a note that says forgive

#5 Communicate and Apologize

If feelings of guilt stem from hurting others, it’s important to take responsibility for our actions and apologize. This means voicing your remorses, taking steps to make amends, and committing to positive change to move forward.

Communication is vital in this process, as it allows us to understand the impact of our actions better and work towards rebuilding damaged relationships.

#6 Reframe Your Perspective

Negative self-talk can add to feelings of guilt and hold you back from a healthy healing process. Challenging these negative thoughts and reframing your perspective toward guilt is a long process – and it will be a crucial part of your journey.

This process will be all about recognizing the difference between healthy guilt and toxic guilt, altering your beliefs around guilt and responsibility, and focusing on the positive steps you can take to redeem yourself.

#7 Set Healthy Boundaries

Learning to say no and prioritize our own needs is another step in the right direction if you’re struggling with toxic guilt. It involves the healthy level of egoism needed to say no to requests or activities that contribute to guilt or stress.

By setting boundaries, you can better manage your time and energy, reduce feeling overwhelmed, and avoid over-committing. This is a critical step for people struggling with parent guilt who usually set the bar too high and tend to ignore their own needs for their children as a rule.

#8 Use Mindfulness and Meditation Practices

Mindfulness and meditation allow you to be present in the moment and cultivate a non-judgmental awareness of your thoughts and emotions. They nurture a sense of understanding and acceptance that can help you to let go of unhealthy feelings of guilt.

One effective mindfulness practice for dealing with guilt is simply sitting quietly and focusing on your breath. As you inhale and exhale, notice any thoughts or emotions that arise and observe them without judgment. Try to maintain a sense of curiosity and openness without getting caught up in self-criticism or rumination.

Other mindfulness practices that can help with guilt include body scanning, loving-kindness meditation, and visualization exercises.


When To Consider Therapy or Counseling


Although guilt is a natural human emotion, it can morph into an obstacle or even a source of severe disturbance in your everyday life. Nevertheless, if you’re grappling with guilt that disrupts your day-to-day activities and causes distress, it might be time to mull over seeking professional help.


Therapy and counseling can be an effective way to work through feelings of guilt by providing a safe and supportive space to explore your emotions and behaviors. In addition, a mental health expert can help you discern the underlying factors that fuel your guilt, develop self-compassion and self-awareness, and equip you with strategies to manage harmful thought patterns that exacerbate your guilt.


In addition, you can use a variety of free and subscription-based apps for mental health to help you work through toxic guilt. They will allow you to evaluate your well-being and track your improvement on the go, thus adding a valuable asset to your personal well-being journey.
RelaxifyApp Mental health puzzle

5 Ways Employers Can Focus on Employee Health

Employee health should be among a business’ top priorities. Their well-being dictates their ability to work, their productivity, and their engagement in the workplace. An employee wellness article from Forbes reveals that 88% of workers’ definition of “wellness” has changed. Now, they prioritize work-life balance, mental health, and having a meaningful job over stable pay. Given this, employees that don’t feel like their employers care for their wellness may leave their current company in search of a better one.


Is your business planning to prioritize employee health even further in the coming months? Here are five ways to do just that.


Give employees balanced workloads


Heavy workloads can increase stress levels by pressuring employees to work constantly and meet multiple deadlines. This stress can turn into burnout, making them physically unwell from overworking. Mentally, they may start questioning their skills when they fail to accomplish tasks.


Assigning balanced workloads is the key to preventing this. For example, you can delegate a mix of easy and complex tasks to each employee. For complicated assignments, assign a group of employees to do the job. That way, everyone gets their fair share of work.


Encourage taking regular breaks


While working continuously is useful for increasing work output, it’s important to encourage your employees to take breaks. Michigan State University’s 2018 article “Breaks During the Workday” reports that skipping breaks leads to faster burnout, affecting employee well-being.


To avoid employee productivity and job satisfaction from lagging—and potentially harming business outcomes—encourage them to go on breaks. Send them a message via chat or walk over to their desk and invite them for a quick coffee. This lets them know it’s okay to rest because you—their employer—prefer that they do so. That way, they build the habit of knowing when to take breaks as needed.


Check-in on their mental well-being


Employees’ mental wellness is hard to gauge. The mind cannot be seen, and they don’t always voice their mental health concerns, so it’ll be tricky to know if they’re mentally doing okay. To help you gauge how your employees are and adjust their workload accordingly, RelaxifyApp offers some well-being surveys you can use.


These questionnaires assess their cognitive, mental, social and emotional performance, giving insight into their mental wellness. Once you see the results, you can implement mental health programs that suit your employees’ needs, such as counseling services. As a result, employees can address their mental health concerns, potentially improving productivity and overall wellness.


Introduce fun activities in the office

Incorporating fun in the office can boost employee morale, productivity, and overall job satisfaction. Here are some ways to incorporate fun in the office:

  • Celebrate important milestones like birthdays, work anniversaries, and company achievements. You can have a cake-cutting ceremony, provide personalized gifts, or a shout-out on the company’s social media pages.
  • Team building activities can help employees bond and work together more effectively. Plan activities like scavenger hunts, group games, and escape rooms to add an element of fun and teamwork.
  • Allowing flexible work arrangements such as work-from-home options or flexible work schedules can reduce stress and boost morale.
  •  Creating a relaxed environment can help employees feel more comfortable and productive. Consider adding comfortable seating areas, ping pong tables or pool tables, and a break room for employees to relax during their breaks.
  • Hosting themed events like costume parties, holiday celebrations, and talent shows can bring employees together and create a fun and festive atmosphere.
  • Providing healthy snacks like fruit, nuts, and granola bars can boost energy levels and help employees stay focused.


Implement ergonomics in the workplace


Employee comfort may be overlooked in favor of other wellness initiatives, like offering yoga classes. However, their comfort when working is crucial to their health. Bad posture can increase pain, discomfort, and injuries, affecting productivity and potentially leading to sickness.

To avoid this, implement ergonomics into the workspace such as ergonomic chairs and standing desks. These can encourage employees to maintain better posture by properly supporting their back, hips, and neck. These can also decrease pain, allowing them to become more productive.

By implementing ergonomic principles, employers can create a safer, healthier, and more comfortable work environment that can reduce employee stress and fatigue, improve their physical and mental health, and enhance overall job satisfaction and productivity.


Employee health can dictate their productivity, engagement, and willingness to stay in their companies. Follow the tips above to focus on this crucial factor more effectively!

Author: Reese Jones

How to Stop Self-Sabotaging: Your Full Guide

Do you often feel like you’re getting in your own way? Do you find yourself engaging in self-sabotaging behavior without really understanding why? Well, you’re far from alone in this.

Self-sabotage is a common issue that affects many people, and it can have adverse consequences on both personal and professional life. It creates concerns in daily life and hampers long-standing goals, ultimately eating away at your potential.

Fortunately, there are ways to overcome self-sabotage, and we’re about to discuss them in the paragraphs below.


Self-sabotaging – Meaning In Theory and Practice


As per definition, self-sabotage is a harmful pattern of behavior whereby one deliberately undermines their own aspirations, objectives, and roads to success.

In real life, self-sabotage is the strange feeling that you always do something that takes you further away from where you want to be instead of helping you get there.

Some typical examples of self-sabotage include procrastination, self-doubt, and self-destructive behaviors such as addiction or overeating. This can happen consciously or not, so self-sabotage is oftentimes subtle and hard to identify.

The underlying triggers of self-sabotaging can be different and are oftentimes rather complicated. While false beliefs or fears are a highly probable explanation, there is still a world of possibilities to investigate.


What Causes Self-Sabotaging Behavior?


Self-sabotaging behavior can be induced by a combination of factors.

A study from BMC Psychology notes that the self-sabotaging relationship factors include defensiveness, trust difficulty, and lack of relationship skills. In addition, fear of failure, low self-esteem, perfectionism, or past trauma can make things even worse when it comes to letting yourself live the life you deserve.

So, let’s dig a bit deeper into the potential reasons why you might be preventing yourself from being happy.


#1 Fear of Failure

Why is fear of failure one of the most common reasons for self-sabotage? The answer is pretty simple – you will avoid taking risks or trying new things when you’re scared of making mistakes. You might also become defensive and self-restrictive to safeguard yourself from potential failure.

Unfortunately, this is how you also deprive yourself of the probability of success, you know?

#2 Negative Self-Talk

Do you ever find your inner dialogue to be meaner than normal? Well, saying negative things to yourself is another facet that demonstrates self-sabotage. For example, when you repeatedly tell yourself you’re not good enough, you will probably start believing your statements.

Then, fortunately or not, what you believe often materializes and proves you right – even when you’re initially not.


#3 Perfectionism


Are you in for the never-ending challenge? The bad news is that unhealthy perfectionism and high-functioning anxiety are another deal-breaker in your well-being journey. As you develop unrealistic standards for yourself, you get further and further away from the realistic perspective of ever feeling good about yourself.

Then, when you inevitably fail to meet those standards, you may use self-sabotaging to avoid facing your own perceived failure.


#4 Lack of Self-Awareness


When you don’t understand your own strengths and weaknesses, you may self-sabotage without realizing it. This is often the case in people with poor self-esteem who tend to overthink and blame themselves for no reason.

In that case, analyzing your inner resources will be the first step to improving your overall well-being. Subsequently, bolstering your resilience and grit in alignment with your unique cognitive profile is key to tearing down the walls you build for yourself.


And Others


Some other potential reasons for developing a self-hindering way of thinking and acting might be, for example:

  • Lack of motivation;
  • Poor coping mechanisms;
  • Learned behavior;
  • Imposter syndrome, etc.


All in all, the roots of self-sabotage can reach pretty deep, and its stems can grow pretty wide. In order to build your strategy for overcoming the consequences, you always need to look for the reason first – and the deeper you stare, the clearer you’ll see.


i can

How Does Self-Sabotage Affect Personal and Professional Life


Self-sabotage can undoubtedly damage both your private and professional dynamics.

  • In your personal life, self-sabotage can have a detrimental impact on the intimate relationships you cherish and the deep connections you have with loved ones. It can evoke an overwhelming sense of emotional isolation and deepen communication barriers, thus damaging your ability to build and maintain meaningful bonds.
  • When it comes to your career, self-sabotage can also stop you from unveiling your potential. Procrastinating or restraining yourself with self-doubt will generate a long list of missed opportunities, along with an overall poor job performance.


The feelings of dissatisfaction or burnout will quickly follow, thus worsening the situation.


How to Stop Sabotaging Yourself: 10 Strategies to Try


If you’ve already discovered that nothing’s standing in your way to satisfaction except your own self, it’s time to take action.


#1 Identify Triggers and Patterns


First and foremost, you need to pay attention. When do you engage in self-sabotaging behavior, and what triggers it? The answers might surprise you.

Let’s say that you struggle with low self-esteem and frequently compare yourself to others. You notice that you feel inferior and doubt your abilities whenever you see someone else’s accomplishments or successes. This triggers a self-sabotaging behavior of procrastination – you avoid taking action because you don’t believe you can achieve your goals.

After identifying that pattern, you can start practicing positive self-talk and remind yourself of your own accomplishments and strengths.


#2 Challenge Negative Self-Talk


What about replacing “I can’t do this” with “This looks like a hell of a challenge, but I can handle it”?

That’s right – negative self-talk is a noteworthy benefactor to self-sabotage. However, you can try to root out these toxic affirmations and substitute them with more upbeat and pragmatic ones.

All you need to do is take the first step and watch your world change.


#3 Practice Self-Compassion


Treating yourself with kindness and understanding is essential if you’re looking for ways to boost your well-being. To do so, practice self-compassion and treat yourself like you would treat that best friend you always give a shoulder to.

Or else said – be considerate and forgiving when you make mistakes, and focus on your strengths and inner resources instead of blaming yourself for not being perfect. Once you think about it, nobody is.


#4 Set Realistic Goals


Setting too high or unrealistic goals can lead to feelings of failure and self-doubt. Instead, set achievable goals and break them down into smaller, manageable steps.

Let’s say that you want to get in better shape, so you decide to set a goal of running a marathon within a few months. However, you’ve never run more than a mile before and hardly have time to train. So, logically, you become discouraged and question your capacity to reach the goal.

In this case, setting an unrealistic goal has led to self-sabotaging behavior and negative feelings. So, instead of running a marathon within a few months, you could set a goal of running a kilometer within a few weeks. This more realistic and attainable goal allows you to build confidence and gain momentum.


marking the word confidence in a book

#5 Develop Positive Coping Mechanisms


In lieu of resorting to unhealthy behaviors to cope with stress or challenging emotions, it’s critical to cultivate positive coping mechanisms. For example, consider practices such as exercise, meditation, journaling, or confiding in a trusted friend or therapist to aid in your journey.

Remember that the path to healthy coping with stress and eradicating negative behaviors is unique to each individual. It requires utilizing resources and tools that resonate with your values and brings a sense of fulfillment and comfort in your own skin.


#6 Prioritize Self-Care


Taking proper care of yourself is indispensable for preventing self-sabotage. To start improving, guarantee that you get sufficient sleep, make healthy dietary choices, and allocate some of your time to engage in activities that actually bring you pleasure.

Placing self-care at the forefront of your priorities may bring a sense of wellness and fortitude, thereby preventing exhaustion and despair. Last but certainly not least – treating yourself with kindness is the literal opposite of self-sabotage. However challenging it might feel initially, you need to start at some point and let the delight grow as you proceed.


#7 Address Underlying Conditions


Should you find yourself persistently trapped in a cycle of self-sabotage, it may be worth investigating the deeper reasons driving such behavior. These factors may include afflictions such as anxiety, depression, or lingering traumas you may not have fully confronted.

Fear not, however, for seeking out the guidance of a trained therapist or mental health expert can provide you with the tools to unpack and manage such discouraging hurdles. With their professional insights, you can begin to forge a path toward restorative healing and designing coping strategies that will fortify your mind and soul for the long haul.


#8 Seek Professional Help


If you are grappling with self-sabotage and struggling to make constructive changes, it is always advisable to pursue the professional assistance of a certified therapist.

They can supply an abundance of prop and direction and aid you in materializing affirmative changes. Moreover, they will impart the insight necessary to release yourself from those destructive aspects of your past that have hindered your growth.


#9 Celebrate Successes


Accomplishments, no matter how minor, ought to be rejoiced. This will augment your self-assurance, ingrain confidence in your abilities, and prevent you from doing unintended emotional damage to yourself.

So, dedicate a little moment to recognize your wins and pat yourself on the back for a job well done.


black woman feeling empowered

Is It Time To Feel Better?


In today’s technology-driven world, there’s a lot you can do against self-sabotaging, beginning right now. Besides a healthy support circle and professional therapy, there are ways to start your journey with your own little steps to get the wheel spinning in the right direction.

In that line of thought, mental health applications can be a powerful and user-friendly tool in combating self-defeating behaviors. These apps offer customized self-care and well-being programs, allowing users to track their progress and receive personalized support.

With features like mood tracking, meditation, and cognitive behavioral therapy exercises, mental health apps can be valuable in combating negative thought patterns that impede personal growth.

Remember, addressing self-sabotage is a journey that takes time and effort to overcome. But with the right tools and support, you can break free from your own restraints and start living your dreams.


So take the first step today and enjoy!

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