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The greatest regrets when dying and how to not have them

Imagine a person who is about to end a long life contemplating what they regret or wish they had done differently during their lifetime. If you had to guess, what would you think first came to mind? Well, the spoiler warning: “More hours spent on work Zoom Meetings” doesn’t deliver the 5 biggest death regrets people tend to experience. Rather, according to the 2012 book by motivational speaker Bronnie Ware, The top five regrets when dyingMost of them focus on authenticity, interest, and community:
  1. “I wish I had the courage to live a life that was true to myself, not the life that others expected of me.”
  2. “I wish I hadn’t worked that hard.”
  3. “I wish I had the courage to express my feelings.”
  4. “I wish I kept in touch with my friends.”
  5. “I wish I let myself be happier.”

A common topic? Existing problems require major lifestyle changes to deal with over time. However, as we age, the amount of time left to make these changes decreases. So what can you do now – regardless of your age or medical condition – to try to live a life that will protect you from this common end-of-life regret?

“Self-aware people tend to enter life’s possibilities. People with low self-reflection often get bogged down in negative cycles that can lead to regret. “—Carla Marie Manly, PhD, clinical psychologist

“When we were young, the world seemed vast and filled with endless possibilities; Time and opportunities seem limitless, ”said Carla Marie Manly, PhD, clinical psychologist and author of Joy from fear. “However, as we get older, ‘what if’ and the finite nature of life get bigger. Self-aware people tend to enter life’s possibilities throughout life. People with low self-reflexes tend to get bogged down in negative cycles that can lead to regret. “

Consider it the other way around: If you have one (or even a few) specific regrets that resonate with you, start small and incorporate a habit or change of mindset. specific to your daily life. Below, Dr. Manly gives advice on how, exactly, to get there.

According to psychologists, how to protect yourself against the 5 biggest regrets of death that people have to experience.

1. “I wish I had the courage to live true to myself, not the life that others expected of me.”

If you are facing this regret in the present, please try to eliminate any limited trust you harbor the people you think you should be, and why. While there are countless reasons why someone might be in a certain path, there’s always a chance to strive to be who you are.

If you feel depressed about not being true to yourself in the past, try to get rid of those regrets in the first place. “Notice when regret begins to form in your mind,” says Dr. Manly. “This usually comes through internal comments, such as ‘I wish I would have…’ or ‘I would be happier if….’” Then commit to change (even if very small) against that way of life.

2. “I wish I hadn’t worked that hard.”

Correcting this regret can be difficult depending on your industry and the general needs of your role. What this might look like for most people is creating boundaries. Maybe it means taking paid leave, if it’s a benefit available to you, or maybe it swears not to check your email over the weekend (and send that boundary notice to your manager. ). Perhaps it means shifting gears to a career path. Specifically, whatever makes sense to you will depend on your interests, goals, and needs.

That said, everyone can commit effort and have no regrets about the path they have taken. For example, I’m a design school dropout and I sometimes regret it much All night people that, in retrospect, felt like they were nothing. But as I find myself in these swirls of regret, I try to remind myself that those nights have finally brought me to the current work situation that I love. It is better to focus on the time you are in now versus “wasted” time elsewhere.

“Focus on the blessings that have accumulated from the path you’ve taken,” said Dr. Manly. “For example, if a retired teacher regrets not going to medical school at the age of 24, it’s important to focus on life events. did happens as a result of supporting and guiding many children through teaching. “

3. “I wish I had the courage to express my feelings.”

“Take action to tackle any thought loops” I wish I had, “says Dr. Manly. “In many cases, you may do something to address certain aspects of whatever the desire or desire may be. For example, if a client says to me, ‘I wish I were a better parent’, I assist the client in outreach to really connect with their children in the present. “

4. “I wish I kept in touch with my friends.”

On a similar note, please pick up the phone! If you no longer contact someone and want to reconnect, that friendship can still be saved. If that approach isn’t available, then try to divert your attention.

Dr. Manly said: “Forgive yourself for any failed actions. “Then, put your energies into creating positive connections with loved ones – and increasing your circle of friends as well.”

5. “I wish I allowed myself to be happier.”

Happiness is not your destination as a state of being, and although many external factors can affect your happiness, it’s always worth it. turn to a more positive mindset. Whether you get there by list the things you are grateful for in three things, do small acts of kindness, or enjoy little moments of hedonismThere are definitely strategies in place to change your perspective. “No matter what age you are, it’s never too late to expand your capacity to love, connect and live true to yourself,” says Dr. Manly.

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