Guilt can kill you. If you hold it in long enough and let it consume you, it will and can kill you from the outside in. How? Because it is suppressive, it affects our lives negatively and creates unhappiness.
I found these antidotes on this informative website and wanted to share them with you. http://healthfreedoms.org/2011/09/07/forget-guilt-7-antidotes/
ANTIDOTE 1 – Reflect on responsibility. Often it may prove it is/was not my responsibility or fault! Blaming oneself for everything negative that happens is a form of ignorance and self-centeredness. Obviously, if I am careless and intended to cause problems, then I should take my responsibility and see to it that I will not repeat this regrettable action. Or maybe I need to ask myself, “Am I responsible for how this person feels?”
ANTIDOTE 2 – Reflect on motivation. An act done with a positive intention, especially without any self-interest is not negative, although other people may be harmed by it. The suffering experience of others is strictly spoken the result of their own actions, and apparently I just happened to be part of the circumstances that could ripen their negative actions. However, we may have made some mistakes like wrong communication or insufficient attention or so. If this is the case, it should just be a reason to change our habits by improving our communication or mindfulness.
ANTIDOTE 3 – Changing or accepting. If you can change yourself or the situation, change it! If you can’t change yourself or the situation for a good reason, accept it! Not acting where we can and could act can lead to frustration and guilt in the long run; just like acting where we actually cannot do anything.
ANTIDOTE 4 – Analyze the use of feeling guilty. For example: Imagine three people coming into a restaurant and ordering the same meal. One of them begins eating first, several minutes later the second begins his meal, and finally the third begins his. After the third person has eaten just a few bites, the first person clutches at his abdomen, crying out in pain; and the second begins to show signs of discomfort.
How does the third person react? Not with guilt, or self-condemnation. Instead, he naturally regrets he has eaten the same food as his two companions, but rather than dwelling on the past he moves rapidly to counter the effects of the poisonous food he has eaten. His remorse is constructive. It is based in the present; it is intelligently concerned with the future effects of his recent actions; and it leads to remedying the damage already done and to caution about repeating such an act.
ANTIDOTE 5 – Forgiving. Making mistakes is an inherent human quality: if you don’t make mistakes you are definitely not a normal human being anymore. If we are unable to forgive ourselves, we will never be able to properly forgive others.
ANTIDOTE 6 – Reality check with others. If you can overcome your feelings of guilt and shame somewhat, try to discuss these matters with others and see if your reasons for feeling guilty are really valid.
ANTIDOTE 7 – Emptiness. Work at realizing that guilt is empty