SLM Regrets scaled
SLM Regrets scaled

New research shows that in order to be emotionally healthy as a senior it’s best to start early and put your regrets behind you. Young people and depressed adults hold onto their regrets more than healthy older adults.

Healthy older adults blame themselves less and are able to suppress whatever regrets they have felt over events they cannot control. More so than others they are able to distinguish when they are in control and when circumstances are in control.

How do we live without regrets?

  • Learn to laugh at yourself and the curveballs life throws at you
  • Don’t let others think for you; follow your own path
  • Remember it’s ok to make mistakes, it’s human nature
  • Take control of your thoughts; negative thinking won’t help you
  • Don’t waste your time with disagreeable people; it’s your life too, choose your companions wisely
  • Realize that money doesn’t count, happiness does
  • Be thankful for what you have; look around and see just how much you have to be grateful for
  • Treat others the way you would like to be treated
  • Spend as much time as you can doing the things you love
  • Learn to stand up for yourself; your opinions are just as important as those of others
  • Be yourself and don’t follow the crowd
  • Know what you can change and what you can’t

What can you do now that you may regret NOT doing later?

  • Learn another language. There are free language lessons online. Try your favourite language and take a few lessons. Besides being fun, it’s good for our brain cells.
  • Walk away from those who make your life unhappy. We all have only a certain amount of time. Why spend it being miserable if you don’t have to?
  • Decide not to be afraid. What is it that you really want to do but fear has been holding you back?
  • Take care of yourself. Put yourself first. It’s fine to look after others but not at the expense of your own health.
  • Stop worrying about what others are thinking. Concentrate on your opinion of yourself.
  • Spend more time playing. Many seniors work well into their seventies. If you love what you’re doing, that’s great. If you don’t and you really don’t need the money, stop. There are so many other ways you could be spending your time.

All of us have our regrets but spending too much of our time and emotional energy on them isn’t healthy. The past is the past, let it go and do what you can with the present.