Most of us are subject to guilt feelings. We may be spending so much time feeling guilty everyday. Guilt for the most part is very constructive. It's an important civilizing influence that keeps people from hurting, distressing or disappointing others. However, the system that works for good can also malfunction.


If your guilt feelings don't lessen after you've tried to make amends, or if you are feeling guilty for things you can't control, you're probably suffering from false guilt, which can be self-destructive. This unrelieved guilt can be very stressful. It is that lurching stomach and racing heart you feel when, for instance, you recall the time you insulted your grandmother. That stress can weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to illness.


So how can you free yourself from guilt?

Compare guilt to pain. Pain tells you something is wrong. When you feel it, you don't just sit there --- you do something about it. The same is true for guilt.


If you're feeling guilty, here's what you can do about it:


1. Make amends

2. Learn from your mistakes.

3. Accept limitations

4. Disable guilt buttons

5. Banish ghosts

6. Count your blessings

7. Forgive yourself