Regrets among Youth

Regret is a negative cognitive or emotional state that involves blaming ourselves for a bad outcome, feeling a sense of loss or sadness for what might have been. The pain of regret can result in refocusing and taking corrective action or following a new path. However, the fewer opportunities there are to change the situation, the more likely it is that regret turns into rumination and triggers chronic stress that damages the mind and body. Young people have regrets, too. Many people sometimes regret all the aspects of their early lives were fair game, many reflected on their burgeoning careers, others lamented the relationships they had built with family and friends and a surprising number pondered the concept of time itself how to make the best use of it, and how to not let it get too far away... Usually, people regret these things the most like they would have something useful, they didn’t have wasted so much time earlier in life, would have traveled, were physically fit, learned to live in the moment. Although we're a generation striving for individuality, as a group, we're as predictable as the sunrise. Regret can have damaging effects on the mind and body when it turns into fruitless rumination and self-blame that prevents people from recommitting to life. This pattern of repetitive, negative, self-focused ruminant thinking is characteristic of depression and can also be a cause of this mental health problem.

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