Guilt is a common feeling of emotional distress that signals us when our actions or inactions have caused or might cause harm to another person—physical, emotional, or otherwise.
Because guilt typically occurs in "micro-bursts" of brief signals, we often underestimate the rather significant role it plays in our daily lives. Therefore, you might be surprised to learn the following facts about guilt:
Guilt protects our relationships. It occurs primarily in interpersonal contexts and is considered a "pro-social" emotion because it helps you maintain good relations with others.
We experience five hours a week of guilty feelings. Unresolved guilt is like having a snooze alarm in your head that won't shut off. If you had a snooze alarm that never shut off it would be hard to concentrate. Guilty feelings make it difficult to think straight.
When guilty feelings compete for your attention with the demands of life in general, guilt usually wins.
Guilt makes us reluctant to enjoy life. Even mild guilt can make you hesitant to embrace the joys of life. Guilty feelings might make you choose to skip a party, not celebrate your birthday, or mope around during your vacation without being able to enjoy it. But for some people, guilt can do even worse damage.
Guilt can make you self-punish. However, it’s not always ourselves we punish when we feel guilty. Guilt can make you avoid the person you’ve wronged. Even though you might have already caused someone harm, you might unwittingly make matters worse by distancing yourself from that person because of the guilt you feel around them.
Guilt trips make you feel guilty but also resentful. Guilt-prone people assume they’ve harmed others when they haven’t. When your trigger for feeling guilty feelings is set too low, your guilt alarm goes off when it shouldn’t.
Guilty feelings make you feel literally heavier and more belabored.
There are claims that B-12 shots help with guilty feelings I am not sure about that.
It seems like guilt is one of those things that has lasted over time in our evolutionary progress that is good.
Now, go have a cookie.