Living a Guilt Free Life

Guilt is something that nobody wants to feel. It can bring on feelings of anxiety, stress and anger, along with negative thoughts and actions. Basically all the feelings which won’t allow us to live a positive and free flowing life.

If you lie, judge, purposely hurt others, cheat or put others down, you have a reason to feel guilty. If everything you are doing is through a kind, loving and giving heart, then you don’t have a reason to feel guilty. So why not aim to never feel guilty? I’m not saying do bad things and just choose not to feel guilty about it, I’m saying, choose to do and be good and you won’t have to feel guilty! It’s a win, win.

Lucy Cruickshank Photography

Lucy Cruickshank Photography

A lot of us feel guilt when we have no reason to, and that’s what I can’t wait to write about in today’s blog! My New Year Resolution for 2019 is ‘learn to say no without feeling guilty about it!’ It’s super hard to keep up, but I am loving the challenge and I think it’s something a lot of people need to work on.

How many times have you said or done something you regret and you feel a little bit of guilt kick in? Next minute that little bit of guilt has got you feeling anxious, and then that anxiety has you coming up with the worst possible scenarios in your mind and all of a sudden you’re in a completely negative mindset and feeling overwhelmed? Or maybe it’s about something you didn’t do? You didn’t go to that exercise class, didn’t go to that work meeting, or didn’t go to that party and that yucky feeling of guilt starts to kick in and it’s a downward spiral from there.

If you can relate to feeling guilty for some of the reasons above, and you were never doing or not doing these things to intentionally hurt others, then I am here to say, you have no reason to feel guilty!

I have broken down some aspects of life where I find most people (including myself) will feel guilty for no good reason. I hope this can inspire you to kick those guilty feelings to the curb and live a life where you feel comfortable doing, saying or not doing and not saying WHATEVER YOU WANT!

DIET

This is a big one. How often do you feel guilty about what you eat? Or maybe how much alcohol you consume? I believe eating a healthy diet is so important for our health and overall wellbeing and so is setting goals and having boundaries. However, I hear and see so many people beating themselves up when they mess up their diet, or have a second helping, drink too much alcohol etc.

This is your life and you need to enjoy every minute of it. You ate or drank whatever it was, because at the time, you wanted it! So be it. It’s done, end of story. Why waste time worrying and getting upset over something that can’t be changed?

I’m not one for diets because I don’t like feeling restricted. I also fear that if I have restrictions I will disappoint myself if I fail. So I chose another way of dieting. Instead of having ‘don’t eats’ I have ‘do eats.’ I turned a negative diet into a positive diet. I hope this can inspire you, but I totally understand this isn’t for everyone, some people love a restrictive diet, and I say go you!

MY DIET:

- 2 Litres of water a day

-Vegetables or salad in my lunch and dinner

-Two pieces of fruit

And that’s it! By the time I achieve all of this, there actually isn’t too much time left to eat naughty foods! While I have some ‘musts,’ in my diet, I’m not left feeling restricted, instead, I’m motivated to tick it all off. And if I get to my goal of eating and drinking all of this goodness, I will allow myself guilt free to have a treat or a little too much pasta, hehe.

EXERCISE

I believe moving your body is super important, but I also believe listening to your body is super important! With social media, it’s so easy to compare your fitness journey to incredibly fit people who are constantly posting their workouts. But it’s important that you, do you!

Like my diet, I also have my goals with exercise, however they’re flexible goals. I used to feel really guilty if I skipped a workout, but now when I’m tired, sore or just not feeling it, I will either skip it and not give the guilty feelings any attention or go for a walk instead. I definitely recommend coming up with an easier alternative, because at least then, you’re still moving your body!

Lucy Cruickshank Photography

Lucy Cruickshank Photography

WORK

Whether you work for yourself or for someone else, it’s easy to let those guilty feelings creep in. Maybe your presentation wasn’t up to scratch? Maybe you called in sick for the third day in a row? Maybe you procrastinated all day? Maybe you had to get stern with co-workers or your staff members?

It comes down to the same message. If you’re doing these things with a good heart and for good reason, you shouldn’t have to feel guilty. If you had a day where you procrastinated or your work wasn’t up to scratch, it’s okay! Sometimes the most productive way forward is to stop and rest! We also wouldn’t have ‘productive days’ if we didn’t have ‘un-productive days.’ Everyone goes through stages where they’re not motivated, happy or proactive at work, so when you’re going through these periods, don’t make it worse by allowing yourself to feel guilty, ride the wave and let yourself feel how you feel.

SOCIAL OCCASIONS

This is a huge one for me, and it’s the biggest reason for my New Year resolution of ‘saying no without feeling guilty.’ It is absolutely, 100%, a-okay to not want to go out to a social occasion every now and then. It’s also completely acceptable to just say, ‘no thanks, I don’t feel like it, or ‘I just really need some chill time at home.’

For those of you that have FOMO (fear of missing out), in the scheme of things, missing one social occasion is nothing. Do yourself a favour and rest. If you force yourself to go to something when you don’t want to, you’re likely going to turn up, subconsciously angry about being there. Your negative vibes will affect the other people, and you will probably end up saying or doing things that you will regret. On that note ….

WORDS & ACTIONS

What about the times where we did say something that was maybe inappropriate, rude, nasty or judgmental? Sometimes it is very fair to feel guilty about those things, and I definitely encourage you to apologise or at least recognise what you didn’t like about your behaviour.

But sometimes words or actions can come across negatively or wrong, when you’re trying to do something good. For example: sticking up for someone, or backing yourself up. Or maybe you said or did something that was a bit out there, or awkward? You must remember that you are you. Some of us are out there, awkward, sensitive or protective and that is okay! It’s so important to understand why you, yourself do or say certain things, and why our family and friends do or say certain things. If it is coming from a loving place, then you do not need to feel guilty. Even if it was embarrassing, awkward or negative, did you do anything wrong?! Or were you just being you? Sometimes our innocent words or actions can put other people out, or make them feel upset, embarrassed or angry and that’s not your problem, it’s theirs.

SPENDING

Money comes and goes. This is your life, and you get to choose how to spend your money that you work hard earning. Of course some people are better off than others, some people have more responsibility than others, but it’s important to enjoy this life and use your money to make you and your loved ones feel good.

A tip I have with spending and not feeling guilty, is using mantras. For those of you who read my blogs, you will know how much of an impact a positive mantra can have on your life! 'Money is constantly flowing to me,’ ‘I have more money than I could ever need,’ ‘I can afford this.’ Using these mantras is great, but believing these mantras is incredible, and not only will you not feel guilty about spending money every now and then, you will also attract more money into your life!

I hope you enjoyed today’s blog! Please hit the love heart button if you did and feel free to get in contact if you have any questions! Thanks so much for reading and I hope you have a guilt free day!

Cleo xx

Lucy Cruickshank Photography

Lucy Cruickshank Photography