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Overcoming Resentment

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Abraham Lincoln said, “We must extinguish our resentment if we expect harmony and union.” A line more than appropriate for today’s social, cultural, and political climate. Wikipedia defines resentment as: “A mixture of disappointment, anger, and fear. It comprises the three basic emotions of disgust, sadness, surprise and the perception of injustice.” Repetitively replaying hurt feelings and injustices stressing the mind and body physically, emotionally, and spiritually is resentment. “The human emotion of resentment is one of the most futile and destructive emotions, more a reflection of inner needs than outer circumstances,” Psychology Today.

Do you compare your life to others? Are you constantly convincing yourself of the benefits of a simple life? Has an emotionally disturbing experience left you remorseful? Have you done or said something you wish you could take back? Understanding the role resentment plays in mental and emotional well-being is important. The above definitions and descriptions can be scary. The counselors and therapists of Improving Lives Counseling Services can free you from resentments’ menacing grip and its many side-effects.

A willingness to let bygones be bygones, to “bury the hatch”, or “just move on,” can be dubious. Rehashing an experience or situation can create suspicion and uncertainty. Playing it over and over again, searching for the, “if only”, “how could they”, and “I should have,” increases self-doubt and lowers self-esteem. The more scenarios painted, the more unconvinced one becomes. Achieving justice through self-denial is an illusion. Children, adolescents, and teens experience resentment and incorporate its triggers. Cuddling supposed wrongdoings, they fail to release hurt, rejection, neglect, or painful feelings. These angers and resentments are often carried into emerging and early adulthood.

“Living with resentment is like taking poison and expecting the other guy to get sick.” This might be true, however, it will not ease the mental and physical pain resentment can cause. The death of a loved one, the end of a relationship, a failing grade on a test, an unfair boss, or a bully at home, in school, or in the workplace can all lead to resentment. Violence, alcoholism, drug addiction, and promiscuity can stem from resentful feelings. Resentment can fuel chronic pain, cause high blood pressure, increase stress and impact arteriosclerosis in the elderly. Recovery, respite, therapy, and recuperative care can be impacted by resentment. Medical doctors and mental health professionals believe resentment is detrimental to overall health and wellness.

Although resentment might be directed at one person or event, it can easily spread to other people, entire religions, cultures, races, groups, or sexes. It affects home-life, social life, friendships, relationships, and the family unit. Resentment encompasses hatred and anger and lowers self-worth and self-esteem. Self-compromise can result in resentment and, yes, untreated it can affect lifestyle, livelihood, and life expectancy.

Improving Lives Counseling Services treats anxiety, depression, behavioral disorders, and post-traumatic embitterment disorders (resentment). Our team of licensed, professional counselors, and therapists offer individual, couples, family, group, and video counseling. We accept most insurances and SoonerCare and Medicare. It’s time to live the life you were meant to live. Call us.