Do you feel resentful towards someone? You know it doesn’t feel good, but you’re not sure how, or if you want to let go of this resentment. What if you knew resentment was damaging to your physical health? Would you still want to hold onto that resentment? Or would you try to find ways in which to let it go?
It’s been said, “Holding on to resentment is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies.”
We’re the ones who suffer any damage, not the other person. In fact, according to Carsten Wrosch, an associate professor of psychology at Concordia University in Montreal and author, “studies have shown that bitter angry people have higher blood pressure and heart rate, and are more likely to die of heart disease and other illnesses.”
Short Term Anger isn’t Necessarily a Bad Thing
Dr. Charles Raison, clinical director of the Mind-Body Program at Emory, states that feeling this way in the short term might not be dangerous – it might even be helpful to fight off an enemy – but the problem with bitterness is that it goes on and on. When our bodies are constantly primed to fight someone, the increase in blood pressure and in chemicals such as C-reactive protein eventually take a toll on the heart and other parts of the body. Physiologically, when we feel negatively towards someone, our bodies instinctively prepare to fight that person, which leads to changes such as increase in blood pressure. “We run hot as our inflammatory system responds to dangers and threats,” he says. “The data that negative mental states cause heart problems is just stupendous,” Raison says. “The data is just as established as smoking and the size of the effect is the same“.
But maybe you have a situation you’re so angry about that you feel it’s impossible to let go of resentment. Would you like to let go of the resentment, but feel you suffered such an injustice, you’re not sure that you can?
If holding on to resentment is so bad for us, wouldn’t it make sense to let go of the resentment? Holding on to resentment is tied to self-worth. We want to know that our feelings of being hurt or the unfairness of what happened to us, is valid. By holding on to resentment, we somehow feel justice will happen. But it doesn’t. It only causes you more pain.
When you realize your health and happiness are more important than holding a grudge or resentment, you can choose to let it go. You have to decide if holding on to these negative emotions is really worth it.
What if you can’t get past the anger or feelings of hurt?
Sometimes it’s not as easy as we’d like to let go of the resentment and anger. Sometimes we still feel the emotions quite strongly. This is where either EFT, or FasterEFT can be helpful. It helps you move quickly through intense emotions. You can work out the anger and resentment in a fairly short amount of time, giving you the ability to easily let it go.
One thing to remember, is to be as specific as you can be when tapping. Below is a general example of how to tap. However, to completely collapse the anger and resentment, you’ll want to work through all the parts of what happened to you to cause the resentment.
Letting Go of Resentment – Steps you can Take
Below I’ve included examples of some EFT rounds you can use to release these feelings. If you’re unfamiliar with the EFT Tapping points or technique, here’s a link explaining how to do EFT.
Before starting the rounds, it’s helpful to get a gauge on the intensity of the emotion you’re dealing with. In this case anger and resentment. Rate the level of the emotion from 0-10. 0 being no intensity at all, and 10 being the highest possible level. After a round or 2, you’ll recheck the intensity to see how it’s progressing.
Starting with the set-up phrase on the karate point:
“Even though, I have all of this anger and resentment towards____________, I accept myself and how I feel.
“Even though I can’t let go of this anger and resentment, I deeply and profoundly accept who I am and how I feel”
“Even though I’ve been holding on to this anger and resentment, it’s time to let them go so I can move on with my life”
Eyebrow: “I’m so angry at ___________________________________. What they did was wrong and I haven’t let it go. I’m not even sure I can. :
Side of eye: “All this anger:”
Under the eye: “I can’t let it go”
Under the nose: “I don’t want to let it go”
Chin: “Maybe I do. I know it’s hurting me, not them.”
Collarbone: “I’m just not sure I can”
Under the arm: “All of this anger”
Liver point: “It’s time I let it go.”
Top of head: “My health and well-being are worth more than keeping this anger and resentment”
Eyebrow: “It’s time to let it go and I’m doing that now“
Side of eye: “I’m letting go of the resentment and anger little by little”
Under eye: ” it’s moving out of my body now. I’m ready and I’m more than this anger.I’m letting go of this anger as a way to take care of myself”
Under nose: “Maybe I don’t want to let it go. Maybe I DO”
Chin:“It’s moving out now.”
Collarbone: “I can feel it moving out of my body”
Under arm: “All this anger and resentment”
Liver point: “All of this anger and resentment – completely leaving my body”
Top of head: “I’m releasing all of this anger and resentment, and that feels good”
Take a breath and see how you feel. What’s the rating on the intensity scale of your anger and resentment if you established a *SUD level rating before you started? Keep tapping and exploring the different aspects of the resentment and why you might be holding on to a small portion of it, if it doesn’t move out completely. Work on it until the intensity level is at least as low as a “2” or “1”.
Once you’ve let go of all of the resentment and anger, it’s nice to finish with a round of positive tapping. Below is an example:
Eyebrow: “I’m grateful I’ve go of those negative emotions”
Side of eye: “I appreciate how peaceful and relaxed I feel”
Under eye: “I appreciate being able to feel so relaxed”
Under nose: “I”m grateful for the peace I feel inside.
Chin: “I’m happy I now have this new energy to use towards positive things in my life”
Collarbone: “I’t feels great to be free of the anger and resentment”
Under arm: “I’m grateful for this peacefulness
Liver point: “I’m grateful to have the tools to release these negative emotions”
Top of Head: “I appreciate these feelings of calm and peacefulness.”
*The SUD Scale or SUD Level is an abbreviation for “subjective levels of disturbance”. To determine the SUD Level, a person is asked, “On a scale from 10-0, 10 being the highest possible level of disturbance or discomfort, and 0 being no disturbance or discomfort at all, where would you say you are right now?
With EFT, the more specific you can be, the better your results are. If you can identify the cause of the resentment, as well as any accompanying emotions, you’ll have a better rate of success in letting go of all of it.