Regret Is Stronger Than Gratitude

We all have experienced it time and again. Looking back at a missed opportunity, replaying a hurtful conversation in the mind, dwelling on the path that remains untaken. ‘Regret’, is the bitter emotion that comes with the speculation of “what if” and often finds its way to the front mirror of our minds, casting a dark curtain over the good things around us. It is overwhelming to accept the quote that suggests "dead people receive more flowers than the living ones because regret is stronger than gratitude." Does regret truly sting the delicate flower of gratefulness in our hearts?

Let’s try to look at both emotions individually. Regret is a sharper emotion. It makes us cling to our past and reminds us of the missed opportunities and alternate chances we might have taken for a better outcome. The root of regret lies in the possibility of something better; the imaginary reality where we made the "best" choice, said the right word, and made it to a world of heaven. This envision fuels an emotion that makes us believe that the present is insatiable and ordinary as compared to what it could have been.

Alternatively, gratitude is often a soft and temporary feeling. It is a religious appreciation for the blessings in life. The blessing of the calmness of the moon in the boisterous setting of life, the comforting touch of a mother, the unspoken walk with your loved one. We tend to get so engrossed in the noise of life that we forget to cherish the little things that bless the reality of being and make it beautiful in every way.

Regret lies louder in our hearts making us think that the grass could have turned out greener if we had tried other ways. However, if we delve deeper, the history of being has repeatedly shown that the grass is only greener where you water it, where you cherish the growth and make an effort to bring it to the best. Gratefulness adds meaning to the unrealized path of life where you understand the importance of the little things that add up to complete the circle of life. One can always try to shadow the emotion of regret by appreciating what one has. Practicing certain habits like the below paves the path toward gratitude:

  • Mindfulness: Mindfulness helps to realize things as they are and generates a positive feeling of acceptance. With acceptance comes appreciation that helps to overcome the dark shadow of regret.
  • Reframe regrets: Transform the tendency of "what if" into the active energy of "what's next." Every missed opportunity holds the key to unlocking a future door of spring blossom.
  • Living in the present: The tendency to linger on what happened in the past and what could have been done to prevent that overpowers the gifts of the present. The past holds a history nobody can erase and the abundance of it destroys the appreciation of current holdings. Even what can happen in future does not yield a positive impact on the present happenings. Hence, it is imperative to accept what the present holds with grace and dissociate it from the past and future.

Practicing gratefulness does not mean ignoring regrets. It means allowing both emotions to exist simultaneously, acknowledging the lessons from past mistakes while admiring the benediction of the present. Remember, Flowers may grace the departed, but we hold the privilege of appreciating the garden's fragrance where we stand.

About the author,

    Prachi Mehta

An outgoing introvert who believes in the art of articulation, voracious to learn and explore the world. Solemn by face, a foodie by heart and a dreamer by grace. Worked as a freelance digital marketer leading social media engagement and marketing campaigns for diversified domains.

© 2024 IMT Hyderabad. All rights reserved. | Privacy Policy