WISH you had seen more of the world, exercised more or worked harder at school? You are far from alone
It seems most of us carry around a few regrets – and we spend more than two hours a week dwelling on them. A study has found that we typically have six things we would love to change, with the most common cause of remorse being not having travelled enough. More than half of those surveyed admitted wishing they had made a different life choice at some point, such as having a different career, living somewhere else or marrying someone different.
A fifth of women regretted wasting time with the wrong partner, compared to 10 per cent of men. But a quarter of the 2,000 participants said they did not believe it was possible to live a life without regrets, perhaps explaining why, on average, we spend 19 minutes per day – or more than two hours a week – thinking about things we could have done differently. More than a third of us blame a lack of cash for preventing us from fulfilling our dreams, while 25 per cent think loved ones held us back. But 32 per cent admitted that the blame lay with their own lack of courage, according to the research by the British Heart Foundation.
Dr Gayle Brewer, senior lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire School of Psychology, said: ‘There seems to be a certain air of resignation amongst us that living out our dreams may simply not be possible for a variety of reasons.’ But perhaps in an effort to ensure we have fewer regrets to dwell on in future, the survey also revealed that we have a rather ambitious ‘to do’ list – with winning the lottery our number one goal.
THE TOP TEN
1) Not travelling more
2) Losing touch with pals
3) Not exercising enough
4) Not saving more money
5) Taking up smoking
6) Being lazy at school
7) Choice of career
8) Wasting years with the wrong partner
9) Eating unhealthily
10) Not asking more about our grandparents’ lives before they died