Here's how to inoculate ourselves against negative ones. Verified by Psychology Today. The Power of Prime. What is the worst emotion you can imagine feeling? In my work, I see people express many different emotions. Yes, some are wonderful such as joy, excitement, pride, and inspiration. But others I see, not surprisingly, are less positive including fear , frustration, anger , and sadness. Yet, the one emotion that lies along the continuum of feelings that I consider to be perhaps the worst of all emotions is regret. What is regret?
That you wish you had done something differently. The issue of regret has particular relevance to me personally because one of my strongest values and goals in life is to experience as little regret in my life as possible. For example, during my single years, I was shot down by a whole lot of women. Conversely though, the last woman I took my shot with turned out to be my wife. Regret relates to action or inaction for me. Life presents all kinds of opportunities to us. We then have a choice whether to embrace or reject the opportunity. We can take a leap of faith and risk plummeting to our deaths metaphorically, of course.
Or we can keep our feet firmly planted on the ground and ensure our safety, while also missing out on what the opportunity had to offer. Yet, when people live safe lives, regret is what they will surely experience. I came across a blog recently written by a nurse who takes care of dying patients. The post described the five regrets that she heard most frequently from her patients:. This regret is perhaps the most elemental because it lies at the heart of leading a rich life. So much of the lack of meaning, satisfaction, and happiness that people experience can be boiled down to the fact that they are not living a life that is consistent with their true selves, values, and goals.
This incongruence creates a tension that can only lead to an unfulfilled life. By eschewing regret, we to jettison the expectations of others and create a life that is authentic and rewarding. I actually have mixed feelings about this regret. At the same time, if your career is one, like mine, that you have great passion for, it is a source of satisfaction and pride, and you feel productive, valued, and connected, then this regret may not be relevant to you.
Living a life full of regret expresses itself powerfully in our emotional lives that are dominated by the unhealthy emotions that I described above, for example, fear, frustration, and anger. Yet, only by experiencing the complete range of emotions can we experience the full depth and breadth that life has to offer. A life that aims to experience no regret inspires us to be thoroughly in touch with all of our emotions, whether hurt and loneliness or love and excitement, and frees us to have the courage to express those emotions in ways that are genuine and that enrich our lives.
Is there anything more important to a happy and healthy life than meaningful relationships? According to the research, the answer is no; relationships are the single best predictor of happiness.
Yet, a risk-free life makes fulfilling relationships a near impossibility because relationships are, by their very nature, risky and fraught with regret. Rejecting regret frees us from these inhibitions and allows us to pursue and continue relationships with gusto. Happiness, of course, is the bottom line. When we take the risks necessary to avoid regret, we clear the path to happiness. I think we should embrace every opportunity we come upon. Of course, many of those opportunities will lead to dead ends and, in some cases, heartbreak.
Sign up to receive new posts by email. This affectation appears to have become more common in the 19th century, as writers used spellings that aimed for the phonetic often to a ludicrous degree as a means of indicating the nationality, race, or social or regional status of a speaker. Could you write that down, please? Crazy Credits. Could you show me where it is on the map? DPReview Digital Photography.
At the same time, along with that sadness at the failed opportunity, there is an upside. You will feel a certain pride in knowing that at least you went for it and gave it your all. And the only way to not fear life is to believe that regret is the worst emotion you can feel. Regret can be purely destructive. But often it can be functional. Basically the main function of regret is to influence future behavior in a constructive way. As with all emotions, I'm sure regret has some evolutionary value, i.
My guess is that your observation that it motivates us re: future behavior is accurate. How exactly it has adaptive value, I'm not sure. I have been in a horrible marriage for 22 years.
Finally I am seriously considering divorce. But I have two beautiful kids that are in college who won't get to see their parents grow old together.
So I can stay in the marriage and live with that regret or I can divorce and face the other regrets. So the paradox is choosing between two regrets. I wish there was a dress rehearsal. Anyway, l love this article. Good article, encourages living a full life.
How sad that people wished that hadn't worked so "hard", so long. This can only mean that they never wanted to work in job s they spent so much time at.
This is tragic, not death but not life either. Jim Taylor's response was that, personally, he did not have this regret because he enjoyed his job, "career" and was glad to have spent much of his time at it. The regret wasn't about the great amount of time spent at working "hard"; the regret was the nature of the work. Yes, there may be some regret when one says "why didn't get into that trip?
But truly bitter regret is when one realizes one could have been a much better person and as Dr Taylor rightly and often points out why I didn't live up to my values? Apostrophes are placed wherever the writer thinks they will fit, or would best serve a purpose, and so we find should a , should'a , should'a' , and many other variants. Tarragon,' I say, 'but I should'a thought as Mr. Brockley might 'a chose a younger and a better lookin' woman,' I says!
An' de cold an' de damp has gin me de rheumatiz so bad I haint ben able to work much dese yer las' months, an' if it hadn't ben for de goodness of God, I should a starved to death. In the following examples of woulda , the first is meant to represent the speech of a Dutch man, the second is supposed to be a letter written by a major in the army, and the third comes from a newspaper's rendering of a story in which a child's cat speaks.
I arrived at the little grave under the geranium-bush just in time to rescue the lovely wax doll from being buried. What of the expression coulda, shoulda, woulda? This seems to be of much more recent vintage, with little or no written evidence before the s. Tips are plentiful around a race track, but not all of them are on or about a horse that "woulda, coulda, shoulda" or is "gonna" win.
Shoulda, coulda, woulda, oughta—but didn't! Call Bruce Caird Realty on these pieces of land before you utter these last words. And in case you were worrying about what order you should place these three words someone always worries about things like this , there is no set way to do so. You may feel comfortable arranging your shoulda , coulda , and woulda in any way, without regrets. Words We're Watching talks about words we are increasingly seeing in use but that have not yet met our criteria for entry. Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!
Some imitative words are more surprising than others.
How to use a word that literally drives some people nuts. The awkward case of 'his or her'. It's a bird? It's a plane? No, I'm really asking. What is it? Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.
Supreme Court: 'Gerrymandering' is Legal. Farm Idioms Quiz. On Contractions of Multiple Words. Flexible Words for Your Favorite Foods.