Managing Unnecessary Guilt with Self-Hypnosis
Guilt is caused by the way that we perceive our behaviors in the past, especially when we fail to meet the prescribed standard. Guilt is meant to be a moral compass, but it causes stress if you do not let go of your feelings. For many people, feelings of guilt are harsh and relentless. Most times, it can easily make daily life hard because you may not be noticing this feeling. There are not a lot of ways of treating guilt, but hypnotherapy and self-hypnosis can be used to treat feelings of guilt.
How Does Self-Hypnosis Help Treat Feelings of Guilt?
Hypnotherapy and Self-Hypnosis work in similar ways because they both address the underlying causes of guilt. However, guilt is hard to pinpoint for many people. Most people can tell you the event that they feel guilty about and why they are guilty. However, most times, people hide the true cause of why they feel guilty.
The brain becomes focused on that one event and what you should have done, instead of what you could have done. Hypnotherapy and Self-Hypnosis can help you let go of the guilt because you can face the event with clarity. You can focus on what you could have done and what you did do. This allows you to understand that you made the decision that you thought was right at the time. You also learn how to forgive yourself, which is an important life skill.
The Difference between Guilt and Shame
Many times, guilt comes with feelings of shame. There are times that the word guilt and shame are used interchangeably, but they are two different feelings. Guilt refers to the failure to behave according to set standards, whereas shame is the feeling of being worthless, bad, ugly, and hopeless.
The feelings of shame can come from guilt, but they can also exist on their own. Many people avoid having to deal with feelings of shame by burying them inside and never dealing with them. However, this can lead to a destructive cycle of self-punishment that many people do not escape from.
How Long Will Treatment Take?
The amount of time and treatments that you will need depends on what is causing the guilt. Everyone deals with guilt differently, so the amount of treatments will depend on you. Some people will see a huge improvement after using self-hypnosis for the first time, whereas other people take dozens of times to see any improvement. The key is to keep at it until you are happy with the results. You will need to be open to self-hypnosis in order for it to work for you.
Is Hypnotherapy and Self-Hypnosis Right for You?
Hypnotherapy and Self-Hypnosis are great options for anyone who feels overwhelming guilt about something in the past. They help because they address the underlying causes of the guilt. Many times, the cause of many people’s guilt is not what they did, but what they did not do. If you are dealing with feelings of guilt that affect your daily life, you should download and try this self-hypnosis program.
How Fear and Guilt Usurps Esteem and Confidence
In dealing with your fears and guilt, it’ll help if you understand what biophysical processes of your body are involved, especially related to the emotion of fear. If you know what’s happening inside your body, you can learn to reduce the negative kickbacks of imagined guilt that impede you and forbid you to make progress.
Once you know what’s happening inside you, it’ll enable you to control your guilt and eventually make those fears less relevant.
Have you ever heard a car alarm go off by accident? Yes! Lots of times! You do not react by calling the police because you learned that anything could set those alarms off– the wind, a loud noise, a movement, or a low charge in the car battery. You learned through experience that a call to the police in this case would’ve been an overreaction.
Perhaps you’re overreacting to fears you perceive in attempting something new– something unfamiliar. If you allow it, guilt can build a prison around you. Total happiness and comfort with yourself cannot be achieved by avoiding life and its challenges.
Fear and Guilt is a ‘Double-Whammy’
There are several proven methods that work well, provided that there is value in the offering.
There are two main bodily organs involved in the emotions of fear and guilt – the brain and the adrenal glands. The ‘message’ of guilt is transmitted by neurotransmitters (specialized neurons) that send their frenzied signals throughout your body faster than lightning. They are released by a part of your unconscious mind in the mid-brain, then dispatched to your adrenal glands, and distributed throughout your body. No wonder you may get weak knees or your voice trembles with stress and anxiety!
There are also FOUR accomplices involved in this biochemical plot – two major neurotransmitters and two hormones! The neurotransmitters are dopamine and epinephrine. Epinephrine gives rise to the emotional “Fight – Flight” response. The hormones that are assisting the operation are adrenaline and cortisol. They cause anxiety and impel you to action. In essence, they are the accomplices who drive the ‘getaway car’ by urging you to run away! (The “flight” segment of the “fight – flight” response.)
Some say that overcoming fear and guilt is easy. Others say overcoming is difficult. So, you’re NOT going to “overcome” it; you’re going to learn how to deal with it. Once you try that out just a tad, it’ll defuse the effects of all those biophysical molecules racing around within you. How? Your brain really does rule your body, if you let it.
If you fail at your attempts to deal with your fears, and those feelings of low self-esteem and lack of self-confidence erupt again, do not “beat yourself up” and permit the infusion of guilt. Submersion in guilt is non-productive. It’s a dead end.
Let Your Body Teach Your Brain!
Have you ever noticed that if you force a smile on your face and walk cheerily, it influences your whole body? Have you ever felt yourself start to feel happy and unburdened? The body can teach that part of your unconscious brain to stop overreacting! Your brain, including that agitated nerve network of yours calms down when you use this approach. The alarmist hormones no longer rage through your body, so they subdue their venomous output. This simple system really works! It’s like the technique used in meditation, and is why so many people employ it.
Let’s suppose you have the chance to go into a social situation at work or outside of work. You feel inadequate and self-conscious. The issues of low self-esteem and lack of self-confidence are prominent in your mind.
Next, your fear and guilt reaction kicks in. Those pesky neurotransmitters and hormones start raging throughout you! Your stomach squeezes up. You grit your teeth, and a whole list of excuses for skipping the event races into your mind– most of them ridiculous.
Yes, you can dodge this opportunity to exercise self-expression. In other words, you can run away. Naturally that will get you nowhere fast in dealing with your fear. If you do not go to the function, you’ll let your emotions of fear and guilt bully you into submission. Your emotions will rule you, not your brain. What happens afterward? Well, you feel guilty because you dodged an opportunity that may not come again. You ducked out on a chance to start to become the person you really can be! Guilt leads to remorse, and remorse leads to depression.
So decide to go to the gathering despite all that fear you feel within! You just need to take a few steps forward, even though your body wants to go in the opposite direction. You’ll move slowly when you arrive, because your body is in an agitated state. That’s OK. Just force it to slow down. Make deliberate movements, not frenetic ones.
Your heart may be pounding (the hormones are acting up), but no one will hear it. “Overcoming” fear can be difficult; so, DON’T “overcome” fear…Accept it and deal with it! You can learn how to live with fear and convert your anxiety into “a minor threat”. Once you try that out just a tad, it’ll defuse the effects of all those biophysical molecules racing around within you and you will no longer feel guilty for feeling afraid. How? Your brain really does rule your body, if you let it.
In time, you’ll discover that once you have dealt with fear, and reduced it to a “minor threat,” It’ll diminish. That takes just the repeated use of the simple technique elucidated above. In psychology this is called “desensitization of the guilt factor”.
Guilt About Failure to Reach Perfection
Fear and guilt about failure to reach perfection can be a perpetual negative energy source. The craving for perfection is your hidden vice. You’re on a quixotic quest. You might as well give it up. Letting go of the unrealistic urge to be perfect can be painful. It gave you a goal, but that goal is an illusion. No one searches the end of a rainbow for the pot of gold promised by a wily leprechaun. Perfection is a fantasy in this imperfect world we live in. You’ll never be perfect. Neither will anyone else!
When you look at yourself in the mirror and reflect on your past, all those uncomfortable guilty memories come crashing into your mind like angry waves on a storm-swept beach. One memory churns up another, as the sea plows through the grains of sand. Is that all there is within you? One failure after another? One shortcoming after another? Surely not! You’re not convinced, though, are you? Try this exercise first:
The Long and Short Exercise
I once had a friend who was a terrific storyteller. Every time he started a story he would preface it with the common expression: “…Now, this is the ‘long and short’ of it.” Hearing that trite expression was boring, but the story never was.
This is a “long and short” exercise. It’s long because your list of negative memories is long. It’s short because the theme is always the same.
When you have some time alone, like times when you’re driving or jogging, select one of those guilty and worrisome memories. Now, ACCEPT it! The occurrence was something you did or said. It was real. It happened. You believe that it was terrible…it was bad…very, very bad. Maybe it was, or maybe it was not. That makes no difference. What matters is your opinion about it. OK. So, it was bad. Now what? Do you really want to wrap yourself up in your guilt? Honestly, you do not deserve that.
Go through some more of your prominent bad memories, and repeat this exercise for as long as you care to.
There’s a common theme to most of those guilt memories. Identify it. This is something you can change. Make note of it, but– above all– accept it. The future is tomorrow. That’s the time for change.
There’s another theme or two to the remainder of your negative memories. Identify them. Maybe those are things that you cannot change. They might be part of your “dark self”. Every person has a “dark self”. ACCEPT that, too.
Cautionary Note: Don't Get Lost in Feelings of Guilt!
You do want to transform yourself– yes– however, you should never attempt to lose your personality. You’re going to modify, not substitute, the integral parts of you. Others expect you to still be who you are.
Believe it or not, you do have your own specific brand of charm!
While you may work to reduce or eliminate those aspects of yourself with which you’re dissatisfied, you have so much more to offer. It will be your task – if you’re willing to accept it – to identify your positives. This will take some hunting perhaps, but it’s a worthwhile and even a ‘fun-filled’ adventure. Those are the parts of you that need to be resurrected from the feelings of guilt you have lurking in the labyrinthine halls of your memory.