Today I will diving deep into the subject of how to let go of anger and resentment.
I’ve been there, you know that feeling in your chest just won’t go away, and it’s starting to slowly eat you up each day.
Anger, sadness, rage, anxiety, bitterness, tiredness, fear, resentment so many negative emotions mixed together. So much pain. So much pure and unexpressed suffering.
When will these feelings dissolve? When will you finally feel calm, grounded, and happy again? It all seems like too much for one person to carry.
You just want to enjoy life again without the tormenting weight of anguish and bitterness in your chest. You just want to feel whole again.
If you’re currently facing all these negative feelings inside, I want you to know that you’re not alone.
I know what it’s like to carry so much pain inside of you that you go physically and mentally numb.
I know how it feels to carry a shattered heart and a deep void of emptiness within.
I know what it’s like to be on the bleeding edge of despair and utter desolation. And I have seen this struggle countless time in other people too.
But although everything around you may have lost its colour, although you’re struggling to make meaning out of what has happened to you, there is hope.
Like the moon and stars in the night sky, there are still beacons of light to be found in your darkness.
One of these beacons is the practice of letting go.
Disclaimer: I am not in any way a certified therapist/councillor, therefore all the advice given is from my own experience and should not be taken as medical advice.
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How resentment affects us
Resentment is created within us when another person, especially someone we care deeply for, does something that either harms us or those we care about.
There are many examples of this: your partner cheats on you, your best friend lets you down, or someone abuses you or keeps you from an opportunity.
This hurts immediately, however, the bigger story is what happens over time. A few things:
- You never look at the person the same again: If, in fact, you knew and looked kindly upon the person at one point, you’re now gravely disappointed.
- You find it harder to trust others: When someone like this happens, it extends off into how you see others, not just them.
- You hurt deeply, often blaming the person for your circumstances.
And if you continue to allow that resentment to sit unchallenged, it will fester and cause you much pain over time.
Holding on to anger and resentment makes us take impulsive decisions and leaves us irritated which compromises our professional and personal relationships.
Therefore, it is really important to learn to let go of anger and resentment.
Is anger and resentment a bad emotion?
The ways that someone expresses anger can be a poor choice.
A lot of times anger comes out but really when you take a deeper look it’s because there’s underlying sadness, hurt, fear, or another emotion.
What are the signs of resentment?
When you feel the same emotion, such as anger continually or reoccurring you’re probably feeling some resentment.
When we don’t process that emotion of anger, it’s very common for resentment to build.
Other signs include the inability to stop thinking about the triggering event or circumstance, feelings of regret, tension in the relationship, or fear of conflict about the issue.
How to Let Go of Anger and Resentment – Ultimate Guide!
How do you let go of anger and resentment once and for all?
Letting go of resentment is a healing process in which you stop feeling angry towards another.
You no longer want to punish them for what they did and instead understand more deeply what leads people to do things that hurt you.
It allows you to realise freedom, the freedom to love and care for yourself.
Depending on how deep your resentment runs it may take some time to heal.
Now let’s go in some practices that will help you let go of anger and resentment.
Forgiveness is a gift to yourself
If you can realise that forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself, then you’ll be motivated to do it. To rid yourself of anger and resentment.
Anger should be like a sneeze; it comes out and then it’s over.
A lot of people, once they get hurt, if the hurt runs deep enough, then they carry, they nurse, as the phrase goes.
They nurse that grudge, they feed that grudge with their precious bodily energy.
They grow it, they just can’t let go of it. It’s like they have to keep visiting it every day, month after month, year after year.
In a quiet moment, really reach to find compassion for the person’s shortcomings, not the deed itself. This may be very hard work.
What insecurities or fears motivated him or her? Why is the person’s heart so closed? What caused his or her moral blindness?
Try to discern the context of the person’s actions. At this point, you may be inwardly able to ask yourself to start to forgive. Perhaps you’re not there yet — that’s okay.
The request itself sets off a stream of compassion, a cleansing of your system. Repeat the exercise once a day for at least a week.
See if your energy improves. I’ll bet you’ll feel a burden lift.
Set your intention to release the resentment
The purpose of releasing resentments is to increase your energy and to feel better. Select a target: a critical mother, a controlling boyfriend, a cutthroat colleague.
Perhaps you’ve tried to discuss the grievance with no results. (Always attempt to work things out if the person is the slightest bit receptive.)
Or your target may truly be unapproachable. In either case, away from the person, air your resentments without sugar-coating it.
Do this in a journal, or with a therapist or friend. For example, say, “I despise the double-crossing conniver because…” Frankly, expressing your feelings is necessary to forgive.
Identify the source of anger
Identification of the source of anger is really important to know the track.
When dealing with anger, recognise what makes you angry and what keeps you holding onto anger.
After recognising, the best way to let go of anger is to escape such situations, relax, and restructure your thoughts.
The other way to identify the source is to take a step back and think. While thinking and evaluating, you will be able to think about how to escape such situations.
Acknowledge your power
You may not have control over the situation or person, but you do have control over your actions.
Make the choice to “let it go” and focus on healing yourself.
Replaying and recreating situations in your mind only give you a false sense of control and strength.
Embrace real power and dictate how you live, rather than being a victim to someone else.
Make a commitment to yourself to stop reliving the past hurt or fantasising about what you could have or should have said or done.
Understand it’s a process
There isn’t some magical way to come to forgiveness overnight.
Letting go of the grudges you have will come gradually, so be patient with yourself. And ask that others also be patient with you.
Often times you’re the only person that knows you’re still carrying these feelings around, but if someone is actively seeking your forgiveness, don’t feel pressured to say you’ve gotten there when you’re still stewing.
This is often how grudges form. We don’t allow ourselves enough time and we expect too much of ourselves and others.
- Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender – is an excellent book on this subject.
Acknowledge the joy in your life
When hurt, we tend to focus on the past rather than the present. We miss the blessings around us because we are so focused on the pain and perceived hell, we find ourselves in.
Rumination will not change anything except keeping you stuck in the pain. Sometimes it’s helpful to have a cue to bring us back to the here-and-now if we find our minds moving backwards.
This could be a simple affirmation. For example, it could be long – “I create my own reality and joy. I choose happiness in my life” – or short – “I choose happiness.”
Stay grounded in the present moment
Being mindful of where you are in life’s journey right now allows you to assess and identify which steps can be taken next.
You can’t change the past, and the future will unfold as it needs to. Believe in yourself and your potential.
Let go of the urge to fight. Accept things as they are, not as you want them to be. Stop trying to force things to happen.
As Jack Kornfield wisely said:
“Let go of the battle. Breathe quietly and let it be. Let your body relax and your heart soften. Open to whatever you experience without fighting.”
Change yourself only
After all, the only person you can change is yourself. Why frustrate yourself trying to change someone else?
By forgiving yourself and moving forward, you become the best version of yourself and show others a higher way of being.
Others can follow if they want. Let go of the need to control what they do and how they are. That’s their choice and responsibility, not yours.
Ask for help
I know I’m not perfect. So, I called upon a trusted friend, explained what happened, and asked for their honest assessment of what occurred.
I asked them point blank to help me see how I had contributed to this breakdown in communication.
A word of caution here: pick people you know will be brutally honest with you, or they may just blow smoke up your backside, leaving you feeling more justified in your anger.
The goal is to gain clarity and move away from the anger, not towards it.
If you don’t have any friends like that, see a therapist or counsellor to help you navigate your anger and help you move past it.
At some point, we all need to let go of the blame and take responsibility for our behaviour and the role it plays in making or breaking the relationship.
How to Let Go of Anger and Resentment – Final thoughts
Forgiving and letting go isn’t something you do for another person – it’s something you do for yourself. It offers you freedom, so embrace it in a healthy way.
I’ve only started walking down this path, but the peace I’ve found on the way keeps me headed down it, with high hopes of leaving my biggest grudges behind.
I would love to hear your thoughts on what you are doing to change your life in the coming days and years!
If you have any questions please reach out to me via firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you!
I really hope you found inspiration in this article.
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Hello! My name is Adam and welcome to my space on the internet. Here you can find me writing about subjects such as spiritual growth, self-discovery, wellbeing, addiction recovery and mental health. Please connect with me on my journey and join the community!