Top 5 Regrets of the Dying


Some of my entries in my blog will not be directly related to acupuncture.

This is one of those entries…..


There is a book: “The Top five Regrets of the Dying: A Life transformed by the Dearly Departing. The author is Bronnie Ware, an Australian palliative carer.

 I have decided to outline the top five regrets as I think it’s worth thinking about them.

 1) I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.

 2) I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

This came from every male patient that Bronnie nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship.

 3) I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. They settled for a mediocre existence, and many developed illnesses relating to the resentment they carried. Speaking honestly raises a relationship to a healthier level, or it releases you from it.

4) I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

It is common for anyone with a busy life to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. It all comes down to love and relationships in the end.

 5) I wish I’d let myself be happier

This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice.

They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called comfort of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives.

Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to themselves, that they were content when, deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their lives again.

 I think it’s worth reading the above 5 regrets a few times and to think about them.

Chinese medicine believes that mind and body are interlinked – a happy mind is a happy body and visa versa.

If we can do something now to prevent those regrets, we should plan it out and do it. As a result of those actions, we should live a healthier and happier life.

 Take care,


For more information on acupuncture see