It’s so common in our society to be boiling over with anger and resentment towards others (especially our loved ones) who’ve hurt or betrayed us in the past. It’s also common to be angry at situations and circumstances that we’re in, especially when we start losing sight of our ability to impact our own circumstances.
When other people just don’t “get” us, when they aren’t picking up the slack, or when they aren’t fitting our mold and meeting our needs, resentment builds up and clouds our whole world-view. When things aren’t going our way, and we can’t see our way out, we start to feel trapped and overwhelmed. Eventually, we boil so hotly that we can’t take it anymore, so we spill over. (It’s no wonder our relationships offer some of the most challenging aspects of life)!
When patterns of discomfort and disconnection from built up anger and resentment continue for a long time, they easily sabotage our mood and progress. Our creativity sinks and our energy suffers. We feel bored at best, depressed at worst, and we have to squint to see lights at the end of the tunnel. It becomes easy to turn to unhealthy means of coping by overeating, overworking, or overindulging in other ways.
Today I’d like to offer three steps to let go of old anger & resentment so you can enjoy your loved ones and your surroundings to the fullest. Maybe one of these shifts is just the thing you need to plug back in and love your life more fully.
- Take a close look at your thoughts and your interpretations. What judgments are you making about people? How are you explaining the actions of others? Realize that there’s always a million ways to interpret a situation, and the way we choose to explain things has much more to do with ourselves than anyone else. Choose your thoughts, and get curious about any negatively charged topics. Ask, why do these people and situations bring out such strong feelings for you? Why does THIS topic feel so personal? Getting familiar with yourself through introspection like this is a form of self-care, which will have amazing results in every area of your life.
- Let the anger and resentment move through your body. Very often, these old emotions store right around your heart, in the upper torso area of your body. Shimmy your shoulders, wave/flail your arms, dance around to an angry song to let it all out. Take a boxing class. Scream into a pillow. Take a walk. (The picture attached to this blog was actually taken during an angry “blow off some steam” type of walk of my own)! To enjoy your loved ones fully, you’ll need to feel comfortable in your skin – once all this anger moves out, you’ll feel much more at home.
- Manage your energy by choosing what to focus on. Chances are, if you’re focusing on what someone else is doing wrong, you’d be much better served by redirecting your energy towards self-love and pursuing your goals. Recognize that you are the only one with ultimate control and power over your life, and make good use of that fact. When you focus your attention on meeting your own needs and loving yourself, you’ll naturally see the good in other people, and everyone will feel a very positive difference. When you’re contributing what you can and creating your life as intentionally as possible, it’s much easier to let go of the things that really ARE out of your control.
As you take these three steps towards releasing anger and resentment, while maintaining a sincere intention to improve the lives of others through your own unique talents, you’ll be amazed by your results. I’m sure of it.
Relax and enjoy. Your heart, your loved ones, and your future self will thank you.