You couldn't call out of work to be with your mum for her big surgery. Your colleague picked up the slack on a project (again!) when you had to leave early because your kid was sick. Oh, and you were 20 minutes late meeting your friend for coffee. And boy, do you feel guilty. It's human nature to feel bad if you think that you let someone down or made them upset. But guilt isn’t something we’re supposed to wallow in for long. “We’re meant to feel guilt for a short time and if we recognise we’ve acted badly, to remedy the situation as soon as possible,” explains psychotherapist Dr Karen Koenig. “Healthy guilt moves us to action and the alleviation of emotional pain-ours and that of the other person.”

Which sounds good in theory, of course. But in practice, it’s not always quite so simple. So what can you do to shake off the ickiness and move on already? Here are expert-recommended tactics for how to stop feeling guilty.