09 Apr ‘I’m a Psychologist, and Here’s How To Protect Yourself Against the 5 Biggest Regrets People Have at the End of Their Lives’
via Well & Good by Mary Grace Garis
magine someone who is nearing the end of a long life contemplating what they regret or wish they had done differently during their life. If you had to guess, what would you assume came to that person’s mind first? Well, spoiler alert: “More hours spent in work Zoom meetings” doesn’t crack the top five biggest regrets when dying that people tend to experience. Rather, according to motivational speaker Bronnie Ware’s 2012 book, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, most focus on authenticity, enjoyment, and community:
- “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
- “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.”
- “I wish I had the courage to express my feelings.”
- “I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.”
- “I wish I had let myself be happier.”
A common thread? Existential issues that require massive lifestyle shifts in order to solve over time. And yet, as we age, the amount of time itself that remains for being able to implement these shifts dwindles. So, what can you do now—no matter your age or health status—to work toward living a life that will protect you from feeling these common end-of-life regrets?
“Those who are self-aware tend to move into life’s possibilities. Those who are less self-reflective often get mired in negative cycles that can lead to regret.” —Carla Marie Manly, PhD, clinical psychologist
“When we are young, the world seems vast and filled with endless possibilities; time and opportunities seem infinite,” says Carla Marie Manly, PhD, clinical psychologist and author of Joy From Fear. “However, as we age, ‘what ifs’ and the finite nature of life loom ever larger. Those who are self-aware tend to move into life’s possibilities throughout life. Those who are less self-reflective often tend to get mired in negative cycles that can lead to regret.”
Consider it another way: If you a particular listed regret (or even several) resonates with you, start small and integrate a specific habit or mindset shift into your everyday life. Below, Dr. Manly gives tips for how, exactly, to accomplish that.
How to protect yourself against the 5 biggest regrets when dying that people experience, according to a psychologist.
1. “I wish I had the courage to be true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
If you’re dealing with this regret in the present, work to squash any limiting beliefs you harbor around who you think you have to be, and why. Though there’s myriad reasons why someone may stay in a certain lane, there’s also always opportunity to strive towards becoming your most authentic self.RELATED STORIESReal Talk: How Do You Truly *Take* The Advice That You Give…A Silver Lining of Loneliness? It Can Help You Harness Your Imagination—Here…
If you’re bummed about not being true to yourself in the past, work on eliminating those regrets at the source. “Notice when a regret begins to form in your mind,” Dr. Manly says. “This often surfaces through inner commentary, such as ‘I wish I would have…’ or ‘I’d have been happier if….’” Then, commit to making shifts (even if tiny) toward that way of living…
… keep reading the full & original article HERE