The palliative psychologist: People who live like this end up with the least amount of regret

palliative psychiatrist
People who live by this principle end up with the least amount of regret

© Mama Bell and Babies/Shutterstock

Life is precious and the idea of ​​finally looking back and realizing that you’ve wasted is scary to a lot of people. What can we do to prevent this? We spoke to a palliative care professional about this.

Unlike other animals, we can and do many things in our lives. We can work as engineers or nurses. We can be funny or serious. We can run, play soccer and scorer, eat vegan, go on vacation to the south of France in a rickshaw and lose ourselves in fantasy books. On the other hand, the lion cannot say, for example, that I prefer not to eat meat from now on. Jellyfish do not have to think about whether they need a driver’s license or whether they want to confirm it.

We can feel privileged and lucky because as human beings we have some freedom and opportunity and can shape our lives in many different ways. But it can also scare us. Because unlike jellyfish, it can happen to us one day to look back and think: Damn, because of that affirmation at the time, I blocked the paths I so desperately wanted to walk. But now it’s too late. (Under the hypothetical assumption that there are certain limitations and requirements associated with it, as in some denominations.) But what can we do to prevent this from happening to us? So at the end of our lives we go in peace rather than regret? When the time comes, are we ready to die? We spoke with palliative psychologist Hanna Salem about this.

The pillars of a happy life

Like the American psychologist and chair of the unique long-term “Harvard Study of Adult Development” Robert Waldinger, Hanna Salem also believes based on her experiences that our personal relationships play a central role in our happiness in life and our sense of accomplishment (you can read here what the palliative psychologist says that people with With fatal illnesses they fight more, and here’s why Robert Waldinger thinks relationships are the key to happiness.) Therefore, giving people who mean something to us (and us to them) a high priority in our lives is a decision we definitely don’t need to regret in the end. But we are more than our relationships. Our lives are not limited to maintaining social contacts. What can we do to avoid the general feeling, i.e. in relation to all areas of life: I’m not ready yet, isn’t that all?

“The main question is what can we do about it king to live life. It just didn’t happen to us.”According to Hanna Salem. Am I living the life I want? Am I with the people I want to be with? Am I doing what I find fulfillment, meaning, or joy in my job? To keep stopping and reminding ourselves of what is important to us, to check whether we are prioritizing those things that are important to us – from the experience of the palliative psychologist, this is an action that promises us and says that saying goodbye in peace can promise. “I’ve noticed that people find it easier to give up in the end the more authentically they live, the more they live as they are,” Hanna Salem says. And: “I’ve often heard the phrase “I wish I hadn’t put off so much until later“.” Hanna Salem can also assert based on her perception that people rarely make mistakes and regret them in the end, but rather that they are mistakes and things they did not dare.

Often times it doesn’t have to be a big change

Admittedly, in practice it is certainly not easy to organize our lives exactly as we would like them to, or to adapt them whenever we deem it necessary to do so. As soon as we draw a path, get into a rut, run along the hamster’s wheel with no direction, it can be very difficult to get out and change direction. But often we don’t have to be radical. Often we don’t need to change much to achieve much. A change in priorities is often enough to take our lives back. Sometimes it helps to remind ourselves of why we chose the path to go down, to understand it and find our motivation or faith again. And sometimes, just by looking consciously, we can position ourselves differently, reorganize our attitude, even want what exactly it is, and suddenly we are no longer the motive, but the driving force.

Unlike other animals, we can be and do many things in our lives and have many wonderful options to choose from. If we make decisions here and there then suspect that we will not do the same way later with more knowledge and experience, that is no reason to be sad – life is an open experience. Indeed, it would be a shame if we did not design our personal experience ourselves, but “just let it happen”. Because we don’t have to be human to do that. We might as well be jellyfish.


Leave a Comment