Writer, Advisor + Consultant

How to Let Go of Guilt: A Step by Step Process to Physically Let it Go

Have you ever felt guilt creep up when you did something or didn’t do something you wish you had?

I hate to admit it but guilt is something that creeps up for me, especially when it comes to feeling like I’m not optimizing my time. When you’re in business there are so many places you can allocate your energy, and sometimes you don’t always make the best choices. Sometimes focus disappears and a day goes by where you feel like nothing got done which can be exhausting and, may even fill you with guilt “How did I lose the day!?”

Sometimes no matter how much you want to do something resistance wins out and you don’t move forward that day. And there are two ways to deal with it:

1. Feel guilty about it and beat yourself up, or

2. Recognize that sometimes you gotta’ cut yourself some slack and that having a non-productive day IS ok! I mean there’s an ebb and flow in energy and productivity just like everything in life.

As Lao Tzu says:

“Just as you breathe in and breathe out, there is a time for being ahead and a time for being behind; a time for being in motion and a time for being at rest; a time for being vigorous and a time for being exhausted”

And yet somehow rest can feel wrong, especially if it happens during what “should” be designated working hours.

Here’s the thing:

Guilt is sludge to the soul.

Feeling guilty about anything (whether it’s time that ran away, something you purchased or ate) guilt doesn’t help you move forward, it only deadlocks you down. Guilt will not inspire you to move forward. The only way to move forward is to release the guilt.

Often guilt is the conscious or unconscious cause to being stuck in a certain situation you find yourself in. So when things in your life and business aren’t going right, take a moment to notice if you’ve been carrying guilt with you.

It could be guilt around how you’re spending your time in your business, your bank account, your weight, or the last conversation you had with your loved one.

If you discover that indeed you’ve been feeling guilty about things lately, this practice is sure to help you. And I need to give credit to Alexandra from yatrayoga.ca for sharing these tips with me.

I hope this concrete and actionable step by step plan will help you dissolve guilt anytime you feel it creeping in:

Anytime guilt arises—move through this practice:

  1. Feel where in your body the guilt is being stored and coming from. For example you might feel guilty that you spent your morning on Facebook instead of writing a report you needed to. Where do you feel the guilt? Is it in a pressing feeling in your eyes, a churning feeling in your stomach, a radiating sensation through your arms? Detect if there is a physical feeling attached (most often there is)


  1. Breathe into the physical area where you feel the guilt and physically untie it by moving the area, dancing or stretching it out, or however you feel called to move( you might just wanna shake it out 😉



  1. Then bring in something counteractive to the guilt. Since guilt is a though-form (it starts in our mind) actively turn it around by bringing in life affirming positive affirmations. Focus on self-affirmations around self worth, self acceptance and forgiveness. It could be something like:

“I completely and wholely forgive myself”

“I completely and wholely accept myself”

“I am worthy of spending time relaxing”

“I am safe”

“I am whole and complete and I love myself completely”

…..You can create your own positive affirmation—any positive present affirmation—ideally around self worth, self love, self acceptance, and forgiveness.

Repeat the affirmation a few times.


  1. Then, make a statement that you will let go of the guilt surrounding your present circumstance. Take a moment to feel the self love and self acceptance that you gathered from the affirmation exercise. You can ask the universe (or you might call this soul, source, inner guidance, teacher within) to help you release the guilt and move into greater self love and acceptance. And ask that the acceptance helps to soften you so that you can move forward.



  1. Next, call upon the universe (or however you call-in inner guidance) to show you the way forward. Say something like “Please guide me and show me the way”


By moving through this 5-step process, you will likely feel better physically and emotionally. And often times, if you sit and breathe for a few minutes after asking the question: “Please show me my next step” – you’ll often start to feel yourself desiring to move in a certain direction. It may be writing a blog post, cooking a healthy meal, going on a walk, or following up with leads.

Notice what feelings and ideas come up and take action on it. When you do this you are sure to move forward in a positive way which will help you release the guilt even deeper and feel better about where you’re at.

Now, I’d love to hear from you. Was this helpful? Do you have any more tips for releasing guilt? Please share in the comments below:

8 comments… add one
  • Anthony July 31, 2014,

    When I feel guilty I try my best to think of the opposite situation…
    If I feel guilty for something I have done to another human I try to counteract it by doing something good for another human. If I feel guilty for something I have done to myself…
    I usually have something good to eat 🙂

  • Linda July 30, 2014,

    Thank you for this article. I have been struggling with guilt since my husband died 3 months ago. I keep feeling like I should have been able to save him.

    • Tova Payne July 30, 2014,

      Hi Linda I send you a (hug) and thank you for sharing here. I hope this practice of releasing guilt will help

    • Anthony July 31, 2014,

      Wow Linda, that’s a heavy guilt load!
      I think life is a beautiful experience and sharing life with another human that you love, well that makes life even better. Maybe you did save his life with the time he had living it 🙂


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