Guilt is an emotion that applies to actions, whereas shame applies to people. Someone who cheats a friend or causes an injury through carelessness may feel bad about what they have done (guilt, connected to remorse) as well as feeling bad about themselves (shame).
Some people feel guilt more acutely than others, but its impact is to dent our sense of self-worth and self-esteem. Those suffering mental health issues – such as anxiety, depression and OCD – are often more prone to feelings of guilt.
Symptoms of guilt are
- Critique of destructive, neglectful or abusive behaviour
Emotions attached to guilt include:
- I have done something bad
- I’m angry at myself for violating someone else’s boundaries
- I want to confess to make amends for my guilt, seek forgiveness and atone for it.
Getting rid of guilt
Guilt can be a heavy burden but there are ways to replace negative thought patterns with positive thoughts.
There are questions you can ask yourself:
- What questionable behaviour or action did I engage in?
- How can I get my needs met in a more productive way?
- Who can help me change this hurtful habit?
I can offer CBT & Equine therapy to help you to deal with guilt.