The Raphael Remedy

Letting Go of Resentment Leads to a Stress-Free Life

by | Nov 15, 2017 | Counseling

Stress comes from many sources.  It is highly stressful when a person delivers a wallop of emotional or physical pain to us (or someone we love).  It then adds significantly more stress when we store that negativity and we don’t let it go.

Do you hold onto a resentment or grudge against someone from the past?  It’s easy to hold a grudge.  Why would you want to forgive wrong-doing that was done to you or to someone you love!?  Well, the best reason is because studies have found that it is a perpetual energy-drain and stress-builder to hold onto a resentment.  That negativity eats away at you emotionally, physically, relationally and spiritually.

grudge – Noun grəj/
: a persistent feeling of ill will or resentment resulting from a past insult or injury

The definition of “grudge” clearly states its negative impact — “a persistent feeling of ill will”.

Dr. Joseph Neumann PhD, who has researched the relationship between grudge-holding and heart disease, reports, “When I treat patients with heart disease, I am struck by how many are bitter, angry, resentful and depressed.” He went on to say, “Holding onto grudges and resentment affects their health and their ability to heal.”

Grudge-Holding Impacts Stress Levels: 

• Bitterness – Loneliness – Anger – Depression – Anxiety

• Consumed with revenge and punishment

• Decreased self-esteem

• Feelings of being misunderstood

• Perpetual energy drain from the negativity and pent-up anger

• Difficult to build new relationships

• Tough to enjoy new experiences

Here’s the truth about holding a grudge – it hurts you – not the other person.

Resentment is like swallowing poison and waiting for the other person to die.

In the Gospels, Jesus spoke very often of God’s forgiveness for us and how we are to then forgive others.  As Catholics, we know that Jesus and His Church teaches what is good for the human person – what will lead to freedom and happiness.  Holding onto grudges is destructive to our own physical, emotional, and spiritual
well-being, but by letting go of our resentments we can be set free.

forgive – Verb for-give
: to stop feeling anger toward someone who has done wrong
: to stop blaming

The word “forgive” is a verb, it is an action.  It is important to remember that forgiveness is a process – it’s not an on-off switch. You may still feel hurt and angry at first, but setting in motion this simple act of obedience to what Jesus says to do will bring you God’s immeasurable graces throughout the process.

· Acknowledge that you hold a grudge and set an agreement with yourself that you want to begin the process of letting it go.

· Reflect upon the benefits of forgiveness for you (not the other person).
 Do I want that person to have so much power in my life today? What would it feel like to not have that rock of hardness in my heart? 

· Recommend this book by one of my favorite authors – Father Jacques Philippe “Interior Freedom”

· Utilizing prayer and the Sacraments is a great way to connect to a spirit of forgiveness and acceptance.

Very often we feel restricted in our situation, our family, or our surroundings.
But maybe the real problem lies our hearts.
 ~ Father Jacques Phillippe, Catholic Author
Elizabeth Galanti, MBA, MA, LMHC
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