Guilt can be so powerful and a news story I saw today perfectly demonstrates just how potent a hold it can have on us.  The story is about a man who had been carrying around a parking ticket that he received after parking in a restricted zone area in Minersville, Pennsylvania back in 1974.  According to the story, he had always intended on paying the ticket which he revealed in a handwritten note to the police department in that town. He included a $5 bill with his note as payment.

Talk about serious guilt!  I can't imagine hanging on to that for all those years but people do every day.  You'd be surprised how much guilt plays a factor in most of our lives.

According to Psychology Today here are some very interesting facts about this powerful emotion:

  • Unresolved guilt is like having a snooze alarm in your head that won't shut off.
  • We experience 5 hours a week of guilty feelings. (Yikes!)
  • Guilty feelings make it difficult to think straight.
  • Guilt makes us reluctant to enjoy life.
  • Guilt can make you self-punish.
  • Guilt-prone people assume they’ve harmed others when they haven’t.

So what do we do with all this guilt?  It would seem that a good old fashioned apology to the person or persons responsible for your guilty feelings should do the trick.  So get out there, apologize and dump your load of guilt!  You should feel a whole lot better afterward.