London: People spend more than two hours a week dwelling on regrets, with not having travelled enough as the most common cause of remorse, a new UK study has found. 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, according to research by the British Heart Foundation. A fifth of women out of 2,000 participants regretted wasting time with the wrong partner, compared to 10 per cent of men, the 'Daily Mail' reported.
A quarter of those surveyed said they did not believe it was possible to live a life without regrets, perhaps explaining why, on average, people 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 people blame a lack of cash for preventing us from fulfilling our dreams, while 25 per cent think loved ones held us back. However, 32 per cent admitted that the blame lay with their own lack of courage, the study found.
Not travelling more and seeing more of the world topped the list of 20 greatest lifetime regrets, followed closely by not keeping in touch with more friends from the past. Taking too little exercise was the third most common regret, not saving enough money was at the fourth place, taking up smoking was at the fifth position. Not working harder at school (6th), choice of career (7th), wasting years with the wrong partner (8th), eating unhealthily (9th) and not asking grandparents more about their lives before they died (10th) also made it to the list.
Among other regrets that people had were not learning to speak a foreign language properly, not spending enough time with family and friends, not telling a relative who's now dead that I loved them, drinking too much alcohol, not undertaking a once in a lifetime challenge and not learning to play a musical instrument properly, the study found. Some people regretted falling out with a friend and not patching things up, choosing the wrong subjects at school or university, not standing up to a bully and not taking a gap year.
The study also found that top in the 'to-do list' of most people was to win the lottery, followed by travelling the world. Others want to see the Northern Lights (3rd), experience a once-in-a lifetime challenge (4th), see world famous landmarks (5th), swim with dolphins or sharks (6th), live and work abroad (7th), build their own house (8th), go on an African Safari (9th) and start up a dream business and run it (10th).