How to have a grudge amnesty and start letting go
Be honest, we have all had a grudge or hurt that we cling on to, analyse and allow to spiral out of control.
Whether it's the party you weren't invited to, the friend who didn't pay you back the money they owed or the family member who criticises you to others.
An outsider may think some of these hurts are trivial, but they've built up to be a real issue for you. That means you're going to hold onto the grudge and poke it every so often to check it's still painful.
The problem with hanging onto your grievances is that the only person they're hurting is you.
When you can forgive the perpetrator, it's not them who benefits but you.
Research has shown that when you harbour a grudge, your brain thinks it's under threat and releases the hormones cortisol and adrenaline. The job of these hormones is for fight or flight, so you go into an anxious and stressed state.
However, if you can forgive the grudge, you stop feeling like a victim and become more optimistic, confident and compassionate.
Does it matter who is right or wrong if you're the only one in pain?
How do I let my grudges go?
Do you find yourself playing little films in your mind of a painful situation and reinforcing your resentments?
To change your perspective on the scenario, imagine yourself connected to the other person by strings. Then visualise yourself cutting those strings and floating away with compassion.
It's also true that when we find it hard to forgive others, it's because we also need to forgive ourselves for our part of the experience.
Finally, remember that everyone is trying to do their best with the resources and experiences they have (including you). If you assume there is another reason you don't know about for the other person's behaviour, it becomes easier to put down your load of resentment. Then you'll feel lighter, happier and self-assured.
Who or what are you going to forgive today?
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About Joanne Painter
Jo is the leading UK Confidence and Career Impact Coach. She works with women to help them overcome their self-doubts and build their confidence and self-esteem, so they can achieve things they never imagined they could. Based in Bishops Stortford, Jo offers face to face coaching, Skype and telephone and also online coaching programmes.… Read more
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