By Sally Bee It’s really easy to feel resentment for a lot of things in your life, things that you may have, at the time, felt completely justified in feeling resentful about. But over time, that resentment might have taken on it’s own ‘story.’ Whatever made you feel resentful at the time, is probably not at all relevant to you today. But you have been able to keep feeding the resentment, keep re-visiting to it to keep it alive. Why?
Does it make you feel better?
Does it hurt the person who hurt you?
Does it un-do the wrong doing?
Choosing to let go of resentment is liberating and gives you a freedom like no other.
When I was younger, I easily let myself be pulled along in life; I followed the crowd, let others lead me and always believed that other people knew better than me. But at the ripe wonderful age of 54 (this week!) I happily realise that I am in the driving seat; I’m in control of where I place any anger and resentment. It’s my choice. Why do we hold onto resentment? Resentment and anger usually come together as when we feel mistreated, we are also likely holding an angry grudge against that person. We hold onto resentment because it's the only aspect we can control when someone has wronged us, betrayed our trust, or taken advantage of us. Resentment is something we hold onto unintentionally, especially when we feel anger towards someone because of wrong doing.
Think about the reasons for your feelings of resentment; perhaps someone showed you a form of injustice and resentment was the easiest emotion to tap into to deal with it. 10 ways to let go of resentment 1. Realise you can't change the past.
No matter how hard you try you can never change the past so there's no use in holding onto your resentment. By accepting what has already happened you can gradually let go of your anger and resentment. 2. Acknowledge that resentment is a state of mind.
Both resentment and anger are a state of mind and once you realise that, you can stop letting it control you. No matter how bad you feel, resentment is a temporary state that you can have control over. 3. Forgive others.
No matter what they have done wrong towards you, forgiveness will bring you peace instead of anger and resentment. Forgiving others will bring you the closure you need to end the anger in your heart. 4. Forgive yourself.
It isn't just forgiving others that's necessary, you need to forgive yourself too. Forgive yourself for not knowing when to trust your gut instinct and for not knowing when to walk away from toxic people. Stop blaming yourself for what went wrong and just forgive yourself. 5. Set boundaries.
If you want to avoid feeling resentment and anger any time in the future, it's best to set boundaries. This draws the line on what you are and are not willing to compromise for others. This way you're taking proper care of yourself and you're letting others know how to respect you. 6. Realise how the pain made you grow.
Your strength today comes from your past story. Nobody wants pain in their lives, but sometimes it's necessary to help us learn and grow. We're all stubborn by nature and it takes pain to help us realise certain things, no matter how painful those lessons may be. 7. Shift your perspective. Be a survivor. Not a victim.
While it's easy to dwell on resentment and everything that went wrong in your life it's important to shift your focus to let go of your resentment.
Be a survivor, not a victim.
‘I didn't suffer five heart attacks, I survived five heart attacks’
You've got to realise that you control the story today. You probably couldn’t control the ‘event’ that you were resentful of at the time it happened, but you can control the narrative now. You can change how your story is told from this point forward. 8. Be accountable.
If the reason for your resentment is because of your own doing, be accountable enough to face your mistakes and own up to them. For instance if you were envious of a friend that has the ideal life you've always wanted, realise that resentment is your doing and that only you can let it go. 9. Always practice gratitude.
Despite how things turned out, be grateful for the things you already have. This means being grateful for the good and the bad. Be grateful for your experiences and the lessons you've learned, along with the negative things you felt. 10. Appreciate why you must let go.
When you can learn to let go of anger and resentment you’ll feel happier, you won't hold so much anger and negativity in your heart. You will feel more at peace with everything in your life, and you'll be able to look forward to a happier and healthier life with new adventures and wonderful new experiences.
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