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I felt that if I ever stopped I would be eaten alive by the chaos that followed me around like a stray dog. It took many years before I found the resolve to turn around and stare down the imagined monster of my past.

Regret Synonyms, Regret Antonyms |

I found, when I finally looked, many ancient and festering wounds that a timely and heartfelt goodbye could well have healed. Over time I have learned that the opportunity to say goodbye is the ultimate privilege. It can serve as a sigh of remembered love, a reparative breath that precedes an adjournment, a pause of gratitude before you inhabit the next you. To say goodbye, as difficult as it can be, must be seen as a gesture of reverence to the passage of life because there are many to whom this opportunity is denied, with devastating effect.

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There are those who are snatched away who never had the opportunity to comprehend the immense significance of their lives, and there are those left behind who stand yearning before a vacuum, paralysed in an eternal farewell that can never be spoken. So, to your question, Else, how do we say goodbye? We summon the courage by understanding that to say goodbye is an act of appreciation for the past that we have moved beyond, and a prelude to the new you that will, in time, require its own goodbye, and as you continue to grow, further goodbyes, each a rehearsal for the final, most precious goodbye of all.

The way to say goodbye is to turn and face the past and administer the word as an offering of gratitude and also a healing gesture of mercy, and simply say it. I feel I could have just handled things better in my life. I even feel guilty for having regrets. Do you? A study found that people were more likely to express "ideal-related regrets", such as failing to follow their dreams and live up to their full potential. There is an interplay between action versus inaction and time. Regrets of an action are more intense in the short term, whereas regrets of inaction are more intense over the long term.

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In a study, high intensity of regret and intrusive thoughts in older adults was related to self-control , and low internal control was expected to be self-protective and help to decrease regret. In younger adults, internal-control facilitated active change and was associated with low intensity of regret. People's biggest regrets occur where they perceive the greatest and most important opportunity for corrective action. A study measured regret in accordance to negative reviews with service providers.

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Regret was an accurate predictor of who switched providers. As more intense regret is experienced, the likelihood of initiating change is increased. Consequently, the more opportunity of corrective action available, the larger the regret felt and the more likely corrective action is achieved. Feeling regret spurs future action to make sure other opportunities are taken so that regret will not be experienced again. People learn from their mistakes. With a lost opportunity regret should intensify, not diminish, when people feel that they could have made better choices in the past but now perceive limited opportunities to take corrective action in the future.

Education becomes a more limited opportunity as time passes. Aspects such as making friends, becoming more spiritual, and community involvement tend to be less regrettable which makes sense because these are also aspects in life that do not become limited opportunities.

As the opportunity to remedy a situation passes, feelings of hopelessness may increase. Low closure is associated with "reductions in self-esteem and persistent negative affect over time" and with the realization and regret of lost opportunity. High closure is associated with acceptance of lost opportunity. The lost opportunity principle suggests, that regret does not serve as a corrective motive which the opportunity principle suggests. Instead, regret serves as a more general reminder to seize the day. Regret lingers where opportunity existed, with the self-blame of remorse being a core element to ultimately spur corrective action in decision-making.

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Research upon brain injury and fMRI have linked the orbitofrontal cortex to the processing of regret. Completeness of feedback about the outcomes after making a decision determined whether persons experienced regret outcomes from both the choice and the alternative vs. Another factor was the type of agency : With personal decision making the neural correlates of regret could be seen, with external agency computer choice those of disappointment.


Feedback regret showed greater brain activity in the right anterior and posterior regions, with agency regret producing greater activity in the left anterior region. Psychopathic individuals do not show regret and remorse. This was thought to be due to an inability to generate this emotion in response to negative outcomes.

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However, in , people with antisocial personality disorder and dissocial personality disorder were found to experience regret, but did not use the regret to guide their choice in behavior. There was no lack of regret but a problem to think through a range of potential actions and estimating the outcome values. A study published in by neuroscientists based at the University of Minnesota suggested that rats are capable of feeling regret about their actions.

This emotion had never previously been found in any other mammals apart from humans.

Researchers set up situations to induce regret, and rats expressed regret through both their behavior and specific neural patterns in brain activity. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Regret disambiguation.

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Psychological Science. Omission bias, naturalness bias, and inf luenza vaccination". Med Decis Making. Journal of Humanistic Psychology. Archived from the original on 3 July Retrieved 15 March Health Expect. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology. Medical Decision Making. Retrieved 31 January In her book The Top Five Regrets of the Dying , Bonnie [sic] Ware, a palliative nurse, compiled the regrets most often expressed by patients nearing the ends of their lives Ware, Although anecdotal, her observations are in line with our hypothesis.