If you are watching television, do you feel guilty that you are not folding the laundry? And if you are folding the laundry, do you feel guilty for not taking the dogs out for a walk? And if you are taking the dogs out for a walk, do you feel guilty that you are not returning all the emails that need responding to?
Feeling guilty for not doing what you think you “should” be doing can become a habit that you fall into without thinking about it.
Here are some ways to enjoy more of the present moment:
If you feel guilty for buying something frivolous for yourself, eating out when there is food at home you can cook, or buying something that is not on sale, remind yourself that money is simply a form of energy. If you think of spending money as a loss, then look for the gain. Mood improvement? Spirit lift? Time savings?
If you see someone you know but purposely avoid them or have a demanding job and miss momentous life celebrations, remind yourself that whatever you want to do is OK. You feel guilty only when you judge what you are feeling or doing as being good or bad. There is nothing wrong with doing what works better for you or feeling the way you do.
Be flexible in your thinking to allow yourself to be more flexible in your actions. Look for the gain in every action you take that makes you feel guilty to understand the exchange of energy.
Alice Inoue is the founder of Happiness U. Visit yourhappinessu.com.