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How to Begin the Year Without Resentments

Resolve to Free Yourself from Crippling Feelings of Anger and Indignation this Year

How’s your year going so far? Is your resolution still intact? Hopefully, things have started off wonderfully, and you’ve made all sorts of new healthy habits! More power to you if that’s the case.

On the other hand, maybe this year doesn’t feel all that new to you. Perhaps you’re stuck in a rut and can’t shake feelings of frustration and victimhood. The anger you feel towards others is just too powerful for you to move forward.

The good news is it doesn’t have to be this way. While holding onto bitterness can cripple you, letting them go can feel equally liberating and lead to true happiness.

Here are some helpful tips for overcoming your resentments this year:

Name Your Resentments

To take control of your negative feelings, you must first identify the sources of them. Take some time to list the people or groups you feel resentment towards and why you feel that way. Writing them down on paper will make them less overwhelming and easier to manage.

If you need help getting started on this step, the 12 Step program has a useful worksheet on their website.

Reflect Honestly

Of course, naming the causes of your pain and writing them down isn’t enough to heal. You also must honestly reflect upon your resentments before you can let them go.

So much of being trapped by resentment has to do with self-centeredness. We can focus so much on our pain that we confine ourselves in victimhood.

To free yourself, you need to put on the shoes of those who’ve hurt you. Try to think about it from their perspective and how they might see things differently. In what ways might you also be at fault for the strain in your relationship?

By reflecting honestly, you will shift your focus from what happened to you to what you can do to make things right. Rather than passively accepting your burdens, you’ll be actively taking steps to lighten them.

Pray for Your Enemies

It’s hard to stop feeling resentful towards someone who has wronged you. First, you need to be willing to forgive that person. But forgiving someone is impossible for the type of bitter heart that resentment breeds. One way to soften an angry heart is through prayer.

Praying for your enemies means recognizing and wishing for them the same good things you’d want for yourself. Even if you’re not religious, you can still benefit from closing your eyes and wishing your transgressors well. It’s a way of training your mind to stop demonizing them.

Even if you’re skeptical, try prayer for a couple of weeks. Take about five minutes each day to sit in a quiet spot and pray for people towards whom you feel resentful. Chances those resentful feelings will melt away before too long.

Practice Being Thankful

While it may seem trite, the truth is a thankful heart is a happy heart. You’ve been dwelling at the opposite end of the spectrum for too long, which has led to your resentful paralysis. It’s time to run toward thankfulness.

You can practice thankfulness by journaling about what you’re thankful for at the end of each day. Even if your day wasn’t particularly good, try to find at least three bright spots.

Once you’ve been journaling for a while, you can use your entries as tools to help you when you start to feel resentful. Just open it up and read about all the blessings you’ve experienced, and it will help you feel better.

Stop Tolerating Your Inner Critic

Often people become desensitized to living in resentment because they tolerate the voice of their inner critic. Negative thoughts pop up so easily, and when you don’t silence them right away, they become a part of your worldview.

When your inner critic dictates your perspective, it begets a defeatist attitude that permeates your daily life. It caters to resentment by making you feel like a helpless victim whenever someone does you wrong.

Of course, you are not helpless, and you don’t have to listen to your inner critic’s lies. Instead, find someone or something to remind you of your real identity when you begin feeling like a victim. You’re not a failure; you’re a fighter!

Value Community

Living with resentment can be a lonely existence if you let it. But once you choose to escape that prison cell, you should find a community to support your newfound joy.

Looking for a supportive community to help you overcome your resentments? The Other Side provides a safe, positive environment for individuals in recovery to meet, socialize, and have a good time. We’d love to see you here!

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