Forgot to phone your elderly parents this week? Late to pick up your children from school? Missed your sisters birthday? An increasing number of women are finding themselves racked with a constant feeling of guilt as they put pressure on themselves to be the perfect career women, partner, wife, mum, friend etc.
All of this has transformed guilt into a serious issue which is now closely associated with stress, depression and anxiety with implications now seeping into our physical as well as mental health, with a recent U.S study finding that the associated feelings of guilt actually weaken the immune system.
”Just as pleasure reduces stress and enhances your immune system, telling yourself you’re a bad person and living in a constant state of guilt related anxiety will eventually affect your health.”
Dr Dawn Harper of Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies
Learn to handle your own guilt
Liz Tucker Co-founder of well-being website www.behappybehealthy.co.uk says that guilt doesn’t always have to be negative and actually helps to make us socially responsible people who try to avoid hurting others.
Much of our guilt comes from a need for approval which we learned as children and when we do break our own moral code instead of self loathing simply decide if you’ve done something wrong, if you did apologise and move on. This advice comes from Psychologist Dr Vince Beger, who also reminds us that guilt is a helpful motivator which can help us review mistakes. ‘Learn to deal with it rationally and effectively and you can learn to change your life for the better’. He says.