anger (3)

We will inevitably face situations and encounter individuals who generate feelings of anger within us but learning to counter those feelings and manage them appropriately is key to healthy development and coping. 8774049101?profile=RESIZE_400x

Anger management exercises are an excellent way to go about this process. Research has shown that anger management exercises are linked to improved well-being and reduce the number of angry outbursts experienced. Thus, learning about anger management exercises and implementing the right combination of exercises is essential to controlling anger and preventing anger from controlling you. 

Deep Breathing 

When we experience negative emotions such as anger, we typically experience a rapid increase in our breathing. A quick and relatively simple way to regulate our mood is to control our breathing. 

Consciously slowing and deepening our breathing can bring us back to a calm state that helps us manage our emotions. You can accomplish this by breathing slowly and deeply from the belly. Repeat as many times as needed to generate calm. 

Physical Activity

Getting the body moving is another way to stimulate calm and manage feelings of anger. Research shows that exercise can reduce stress and anxiety, which can keep anger at bay. 

Regularly exercising each day/week is a great way to deal with anger that may pop up preemptively, but in moments where you feel unexpectedly angry, getting physical on the spot can also be an immediate step to take to deal with how you feel. Something as simple as going for a walk/run or doing yoga can release hormones that stimulate feelings of joy and calm and work to combat anger. 

Progressive Muscle Relaxation 

Progressive muscle relaxation is a way to release tension in the body that tends to get stored up when a person is angry and upset. This technique involves slowly tensing up and then relaxing one muscle group in the body at a time.

An easy method is to start at the top of the head and move down to the toes. By going through this process, tension is gradually reduced, stress released, and anger decreased. 

Avoiding Triggers 

One of the best methods for managing anger is understanding what your triggers are and taking measures to avoid them beforehand. When we know those things and people that tend to lead us towards feelings of anger, we can take proactive steps to limit our interactions, create space/distance, or avoid altogether. 

Active Listening 

Often, the anger we feel towards a situation or individual is because we don’t have a complete understanding of the situation or what is trying to be communicated by the individual. Listening to understand or taking a pause during a situation to assess and process can prevent you from making unfair or faulty assumptions. With a proper understanding of the situation or information, you might find that you’re not upset after all. 

Via these strategies, you can manage and even conquer your anger. For some, just one of these strategies may be effective, while other people might need to combine multiple techniques to deal with their anger. 

Either way, finding what works for you will help you be less reactive and better able to deal with unpleasant situations and challenging individuals in healthy and appropriate ways.

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The resentment you feel when someone hurts you physically, mentally, or emotionally can cause lasting damage and reduce your quality of life. According to psychologists and life coaches, holding on to resentments can make you:8771183862?profile=RESIZE_400x

  • Deeply Disappointed
  • Less Trusting
  • Blame Others

When you feel that you’ve been mistreated, the disappointment you feel can extend not only to the person who hurt you but, over time, to other people and aspects of your life.  Resentment can also make you less trusting of others and blame other people for your circumstances.  Resentment is unhealthy, and letting it go is crucial to your peace of mind. 

How can you let go of resentments?  When you’ve been hurt, it may be hard to heal and move past the pain.  Here are five strategies to let resentments go, based on research and studies by scientists.

  1. Dig Deeper

Based on clinical work highlighted in Psychology Today, the first strategy to let resentments go is to dig deeper into why you feel resentment. Resentment is a combination of anger and hate.  Those emotions also have an underlying cause, either fear and hurt. 

Ask yourself why you feel resentment.  What was the situation that made you feel this way?  When you think about it, the actions that started your resentment probably hurt you emotionally, mentally, or physically.  What did those actions take from you?  That’s fear.  Feeling like you lost respect, status, or safety are all fear-based responses.

The next step is to consider the intention of the person who hurt you.  Were their actions overtly trying to hurt you?  Or did they unknowingly do something that triggered your feelings of fear and anger?  Attempts to hurt you are abuse and should not be tolerated.  But what you perceived as an indifferent, cold, or unhelpful action from someone may not be what they intended. 

When you consider the reason someone acted a certain way towards you, you may be able to let go of resentments associated with minor annoyances. Talking with the other person and expressing how you feel, using “I” statements instead of blaming, and working towards a positive solution can help you let go of resentments.

  1. Express Anger in Healthy Ways

Your feelings of resentment about a person or a situation may be entirely justified but holding onto resentments isn’t healthy. Anger is a natural human emotion.  Refusing to express or deal with your anger is not healthy either.  Instead, find ways to express your anger that allow you to release it.  According to research published in The Journal of Medicine and Life, holding onto anger and resentment has multiple health risks, including heart disease, diabetes, and eating disorders.  Here are some healthy ways to release anger instead:

  • Keep a Journal
  • Exercise
  • Talk with a Trusted Friend
  • Paint, draw, or Forms of Art
  1. Self-Care

Resentment comes from being hurt. That means you will need to take care of yourself to heal.  There are many self-care techniques available to help you decrease stress, lessen psychological pain, and release anger.  These techniques may also help you grow stronger so you can better manage future situations that might make you feel resentment.

  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Deep Breathing
  • Getting Enough Rest
  • Spend Time in Nature
  • Laugh
  • Treat Yourself
  1. Forgiveness Therapy

Forgiveness therapy is a process designed to help you let go of resentments. By working with a trained therapist, you can learn how to examine why you feel resentments, how to let go of them, and how to protect yourself in the future.  Forgiveness therapy is a specific type of therapy for people who have experienced trauma, pain, and hurt, leading to resentments.

  1. Other Professional Therapy

The American Psychological Association offers other forms of therapy through psychiatrists, psychologists, and counselors. Resentment is not the only unhealthy behavior associated with pain and suffering.  Professional therapists can help you let go of resentments and deal with other issues affecting your quality of life.  Examples of therapies available include:

  • Anger Management
  • Alcohol and Drug Addiction
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  1. Spiritual Exercises

Practicing your Spiritual beliefs is a very powerful way of letting go of resentments. Find a spiritual advisor and follow their direction. Let them walk you through the feelings and resolve the grievances. In no way does using a spiritual approach negate the first five strategies—just the opposite. On your spiritual journey to peace of mind, you will use the first five strategies at various points in your healing from your resentment.

There are ways to let go of resentments.  Resentment will impact your life in negative ways left untreated. 

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It is impossible to go through life while interacting with others without occasionally developing resentment feelings. This is because we will all encounter someone who wrongs us in some way or another. It is a negative emotional reaction to being mistreated, usually by someone else but also occasionally by circumstances.8753779099?profile=RESIZE_400x

According to WebMD, there are a number of signs that we are feeling resentment which include:

  • Recurring negative feelings
  • Inability to stop thinking about an event
  • Feelings of regret or remorse
  • Fear or avoidance
  • A tense relationship
  • Feeling invisible and inadequate
  • Inability to let go of anger

Even though resentment is impossible to avoid altogether, it should be recognized and dealt with to move on to a happier, healthier life.

Mental Effects of Resentment

Deep resentment can have serious emotional effects on a person, often leaving them struggling to live their life efficiently. Harboring resentment towards someone essentially means you are constantly angry at them, which can mean a complicated relationship if you regularly interact with them. Even if you never have to see that person again, holding onto that resentment can ruin your relationships with others.

Many people who have been in abusive relationships or have had a partner that has cheated on them may well have good reason to resent that person. It's not wrong to be angry and upset but holding onto the resentment for their actions means that there is still a part of that person with you.

When you allow resentment to linger in your life, you constantly remember that person and the hurt. The trauma caused by that person makes you suspicious of others' motives and stops you from leading a happy life.

According to the Mayo Clinic, there are many benefits to forgiving someone who has wronged you. Forgiving someone does not mean you allow someone who hurt you back into your life but merely that you choose to let go of what happened and move on.

The benefits to your emotional health of releasing resentment and forgiving include:

  • Healthier future relationships
  • Improved mental health
  • Less anxiety, stress, and hostility
  • Fewer symptoms of depression
  • Improved self-esteem 

The Physical Effects of Resentment

It may seem strange, but resentment can also have a physical effect on our health and wellbeing. Mental health specialist Louise B. Miller Ph.D., says that anger creates energy surges in the body, releasing chemicals such as adrenaline. The release of adrenaline, in particular, causes an increase in heart rate, blood flow, and tension in the muscles. It is a physical response that essentially readies us to either fight or flight.

Now anger along with fear can be healthy emotions for self-preservation, but constant anger such as can occur with deep resentment can be very dangerous. Over time the pressure on the heart caused by constant anger can cause damage, and blood pressure can also become elevated. This can lead to headaches, a decreased immune system, and cardiovascular issues.

It seems very odd that emotion can do physical damage, but resentment is one of the most unhealthy mindsets. Whereas anger can be fleeting, when fueled by resentment, it becomes self-sustaining and rears its ugly head for no logical reason. 

Final Thoughts

Resentment does nothing positive for a person's mental or physical health. It impacts both adversely. This means that you are allowing this source of anger to destroy every part of your life by resenting someone. When you let go of the resentment, you let go of the power that person has over you.


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