Major Regrets People Have Later In Life, And How To Escape The Regret Cycle
Published in Jul 2020 / Updated in Feb 2021
Research says we spend about 110 hours every year thinking back on what could have been. And as time goes by, the regrets keep adding up, which is why regrets people have later in life should be a concern to us all.
Regret means looking back at choices you have made in life with disappointment or a feeling of sadness. You can also define regret as being repentant over what you have done.
About 80 percent of people think they could have had better lives if they had done things differently.
But at the end of the day, life is a journey full of uncertainties, and we often walk down paths that lead us towards regrets. Luckily, we don’t have to learn from our own mistakes.
Other people before us have shared what they ended up regretting later in their lives, and today we’ll learn from them.
1. Not Taking A Risk On Romance Is One Of The Biggest Regrets In Life
To make it in life, you need to take risks every once in a while. But some people play it too safe and let amazing life-changing opportunities get past them.
This often leads to regrets later in life.
Due to failure to take risks, these people end up being poorer or losing out on a chance to marry the person of their dreams.
Sticking to your comfort zone is a sure way to ensure regrets later in life. That said, make sure you don’t take risks without considering whether the payoff will be worth it.
Learn to express your true feelings to those you love, and you won’t spend so much of your time in the future wondering why you didn’t and how much better life could have been if you did.
2. Not Being More Loving Towards Family And Friends
Typically, most people have family and friends there for them when they are terminally ill or in need of help at the end of their lives. At this point, they realize how much better it would have been if they had spent more time on these people.
Usually, people get too busy to spend any time with family or friends and choose to commit that time to their jobs or strangers.
We have absentee fathers who are too busy chasing money to attend major events in their kids’ lives. And yet, when they get older, these kids are all they have left.
Spare some time for your family or friends. At the end of the day, they stand by you when your fans, colleagues, and admirers have fallen by the wayside.
3. Failing To Live Their Dreams Is Something People Regret Most In Life
When we were young, we had dreams about what we would love to do when we were older. Some wanted to pursue music, art, business, sports, and so forth.
But eventually, life got in the way. Bills had to be paid, and we had to “practical” about the realities of life. In the process, these important dreams were forgotten until later in life.
So, if you have a dream, pursue it. It may not pan out, but knowing that you gave it your best shot will certainly give you some peace of mind and ensure you never regret it later in life.
As they say, it’s better to have tried and failed than not to have tried at all. Many older people’s biggest regret is failing to muster enough courage to chase their dreams, whether or not the effort was worth it.
4. Not Being Happier And Enjoying Life More
Inability to find happiness in life is one of the biggest regrets people have in life.
Many people regret that they spent so much of their time worrying about the wrong things, hence denying themselves a chance to enjoy life more.
People wait too long to realize that they could have enjoyed life instead of worrying about things they could never control. Instead of worrying that your career didn’t turn out as well as your sister’s, brother’s, or friend’s, you can spend time enjoying the life you have.
5. Many People Regret Not Taking Better Care Of Themselves
Later in life, health becomes a huge problem. Years of drinking, smoking, letting gym memberships run out, and eating junk food start to take their toll.
Lifestyle diseases like obesity and diabetes start to creep in, making life almost unbearable.
At these times, these people wish they had taken better care of their health by eating healthier, working out, and letting off some steam when life became too much.
So, don’t wait too long to live healthily. Your youthfulness might take the abuse, but the effects will eventually manifest themselves.
Start taking care of yourself earlier in life, and you will easily become one of those older people who seem to have excellent health and uninhibited life.
How To Break Free From The Regret Cycle
Regrets are bad, so much so that they could do some serious damage to your mental health. Regrets in middle age make many people miserable.
Therefore, learning how to avoid regrets is an important like skill.
People often regret things when they cannot forgive themselves for the mistakes they made. So, if you cannot avoid some regrets, learn to put them behind you.
A life of no regrets means a commitment to forgiving yourself. To let go of regrets, you have to forgive yourself.
You should stop blaming yourself for everything. Understand that other things failed for multiple reasons, and you are not entirely to blame for it.
Also, understand that nobody ever really achieves all they have ever dreamed about in life. Failures are part of life, and the road to the life you want will be full of many setbacks and mistakes.
The best option is to focus on the future because that’s what really matters in the end. In the meantime, you can make amends where necessary and get some closure.
These are the most common regrets later in life, and they are completely uncalled for. The best way to avoid the regret cycle is to put your failures and mistakes behind you and learn from them if you can.