How regret can be the ultimate gateway to gratitude.
Many blog posts have been written to explain the differences between regret and gratitude and how both can change the course of an individual’s life.
Just yesterday, I was going through some of the blog posts. To sum up, I realized that people preferred to write about regret and gratitude. Moreover, the discussion is regarding which of the two is better.
I must say I was inspired by the different perspectives of people around the topic. Therefore, I decided to share my point of view around it. In other words, I believe there is a connection or relation between regret and gratitude.
While we might think the feelings of regret and gratitude to be radically different, the truth is both of them are related to each other in many ways that go unnoticed or overlooked.
But, “How can regret and gratitude be related to each other?”
Well, what if we say that they originate and end at the same spot without influencing each other.
For instance, take a string and consider one of its ends as regret and the other end as gratitude. Now, join both the ends of the string to form a loop. This way there are no two opposite sides but a complete circle.
Likewise, both these feelings emanate and end the same point when it comes to the human condition. Therefore, they are likely related to each other.
It doesn’t make sense, right.
So, here I am going to prove how regret is the ultimate gateway to gratitude in our lives.
You can also watch this insightful video below by TEDx Talks to know about the science of regret:
What does ‘regret as the gateway to gratitude’ mean:
Regret is one of the strongest feelings about loss and failure. Besides, it has a very ‘morbid’ way of influencing the life of an individual through contempt and despair.
So, “What is regret?”
It is a feeling of sadness accompanied by depression and disappointment when one loses or fails to achieve something significant in his life.
In other words, regret has its roots deep within an individual’s fear and insecurity of suffering loss or facing disappointment.
Further, this fear of suffering loss manifests in the form of insecurity. As a result, the person starts dwelling in past events, making it difficult to accept the current circumstances.
However, dwelling on your regrets can be very unhealthy. Moreover, it manipulates you to lose touch with better things, thereby making your life miserable.
Now, let’s talk about gratitude.
Gratitude, like regret, is a strong emotion of happiness and contentment without being too overwhelming. But, it is thoroughly consistent and more concerned with opening oneself to the current circumstances.
So, “What is gratitude?”
It is a feeling of contentment accompanied by satisfaction and appreciation when an individual comes to terms with his regrets and lives in the present.
Besides, gratitude has its roots deep within the acknowledgment and self-sufficiency of an individual. As a result, he can rise past his regret or remorse to focus upon the current events.
Hence, it helps us live a resourceful life. In other words, we appreciate the little joys in the present that provide us with happiness and prosperity.
Connecting the dots behind regret and gratitude:
It is, however, not always good living with gratitude as it can make us ignorant and detached. Besides, we may come across as naive concerning the failures and sufferings in our lives.
Hence, both regret and gratitude provide us with useful insights about life and what we should learn from our mistakes. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that regret is intense compared to gratitude. However, which one is better depends upon the individual.
We might dwell on our regrets when we suffer a loss making it difficult for us to embrace the present. However, the desire to lead a satisfying life will always motivate us to rise past our feelings of despair.
Any form of resistance proves futile as it leads to repression and sadness, leaving us the option of acceptance. So, from our regrets, we move towards gratitude, thereby completing the inevitable path of life.
Understanding the dilemma behind regret as a gateway to gratitude:
There is an underlying misconception regarding the feelings of regret and gratitude. In other words, we believe that the emotions of an individual drive negative or positive feelings.
Besides, it would be fair to say that both regret and gratitude have distinct ways of influencing our emotions.
Firstly, regret gains experience by recollecting past events and the effects of those events upon the present. Secondly, it helps us deal with situations more effectively. Further, it imparts wisdom to learn from the pain of suffering in our lives.
Gratitude, on the other hand, is more consistent with the present events and rarely looks back in the past. Besides, it cherishes the ‘here and now’ to thrive in a minimalist environment where resources are valued, and little things in life are appreciated.
It brings us to a different form of wisdom, preaching a positive outlook with hope and peace towards life.
The best thing about experiencing both regret and gratitude is that the former may be very ‘seducing and enticing’ to an individual. However, in the long run, it affects one’s emotional stability. The latter is calm and composed and helps stabilize the mental and emotional health.
How regret and gratitude affect our psychology:
Let us discuss how regret and gratitude affect our psychology by taking the example of a steroidal and non-steroidal body.
For instance, a body in steroids is easier to build, considering the high muscle mass. Besides, it also produces a bulky and muscular physique. However, with time the body seems more out of shape and becomes bulky and fat.
That is how regret acts upon an individual’s psychology by destroying his inner harmony and making him wallow in sadness and remorse.
Talking about gratitude, we shall take the above example.
A body without steroids is tougher to build, considering the high muscle mass it requires. Moreover, it produces a less muscular and lean physique that is not as intense as the bulky body with steroids. However, with time the body barely changes its shape and remains fit and healthy, unlike the steroidal body, which becomes fat and lazy.
Similarly, regret is like a ‘sprinter’ ready to run fast for a short distance while gratitude is like an athlete with ‘high endurance’ running consistently for a longer pace.
To sum up, the war of words between regret and gratitude shall reveal a lot of undiscovered relations and connections concerning the two feelings. As a result, we might never know which one is stronger or better in the long run.
Nevertheless, the ‘idea of regret as the ultimate gateway to gratitude’ can provide us with many useful insights about our complicated human condition with greater awareness and wisdom.