“Nothing on earth consumes a man more quickly than the passion of resentment.” – Friedrich Nietzsche, “Ecce Homo”, p.21.
Resentment and hatred are common emotions in humans. It is not a product of our society today, they can be found throughout our history.
They are strong and sharp emotions, little comparable to any other. They are degenerative, because they corrode body, mind and soul. They affect the way we look at others, how we interact with them, and how we act.
If you feel that the grudge within you continues to grow and has influenced your life negatively, we leave you in this article everything you need to know about it, to manage it and even eliminate these feelings from your life.
What is grudge?
Resentment or resentment are negative feelings of repudiation, hatred, displeasure and much more that we feel when remembering an event from the past and others, involved in it.
Resentment represents our inability to move forward. When we get stuck in our thoughts, in the consequences of that event, how we could have avoided it and the indignation or disappointment it caused us, they plant seeds.
Over time, seeds take root and grow the more we think about it.
A traumatic event (a loud argument, a fight, an insult or mockery) can last in our minds for weeks, months and even years, infesting the way we think and act every time we remember it.
Origin of the grudge
Resentment can originate from a plethora of possibilities, such as aggression, verbal or physical, towards our person. Whether real or perceived.
We present some circumstances that can arise and generate resentment in the individual.
Conflicts are frequent causes of resentment towards one person or several.
Rascal arguments or arguments, lawsuits, and even physical altercations are examples of confrontations that leave an indelible mark on memory.
The lack of reconciliation after a conflict grows into rancor. Conflicts are natural, each person has their own character and idiosyncrasies that separates them from the other.
However, it is important to communicate, civilly, our feelings and how the situation has affected us.
Also understand why the other person committed the act that bothered us. This way they get a better idea of what happened, and not just your perspective.
Our insecurities can be the deep root of an event that would later cause resentment or resentment.
Not all comments that we perceive as aggravating or insulting are actually so. It is what our insecurities make us believe hearing or seeing, misrepresenting the meaning behind words or actions.
Again, miscommunication is a major factor that could trigger a grudge. A person’s action or words are misinterpreted and, by not speaking, remain in the individual’s memory.
Lies are painful, they are capable of breaking the trust of one person towards another.
This feeling of betrayal can generate mistrust and resentment towards the perpetrator or others not directly involved, due to the association effect.
After that, many feel unable to open up to others again, making interpersonal, romantic and even work relationships difficult. This generates impotence, further fueling resentment towards those who cause it.
Psychological abuse (hurtful words or manipulation) and physical abuse are also important triggers for resentment.
They generate emotional imbalance, insecurity, low self-esteem, communication problems and even depression.
Negative feelings continue to drown the person, generating resentment towards others and even, in some cases, themselves.
Effects of grudges on health and well-being
The mind and body are one. What affects one reverberates in the other. Directly or indirectly, grudges disturb the internal balance of the body and can generate pathologies.
Here are some examples.
Increases blood pressure
Resentment can culminate in bouts of anger, which activate the sympathetic nervous system.
The latter increases the speed of each heartbeat and constricts blood vessels, the net result of which is increased circulation and blood pressure.
Significant elevations in blood pressure have been reported in in vivoStudies during Rage States. Furthermore, it is proposed that hostility, anger, resentment and aggressiveness are all psychosocial states thatPredispose to coronary diseases.
Causes severe headaches
Resentment and hatred, acute and intense emotions, are also the cause of headaches and migraines. Why?
It is hypothesized that it is due to the release of inflammatory and oxidizing substances in the blood, the brain being particularly susceptible to the effect of both.
Another possible explanation is the prolonged contraction of the temporal muscle (located in the skin) that generates discomfort and pain.
Causes gastrointestinal upset
Stressful agents such as emotions generate stereotyped biological responses, such as the secretion of corticotropin-releasing factor, a hormone secreted by the hypothalamus.
Upon entering the circulation, it affects the gastrointestinal system, modifying gastric emptying, permeability, sensitivity, motility and the intestinal microbiota.
What generates constipation, indigestion, nausea, vomiting, burning in the pit of the stomach and lower abdominal pain.
Causes cramps and muscle tension
The stress caused by resentment is reflected in every part of the body, generating tension and stiffness, products of general muscular tension.
This generates back pain, neck stiffness, and general slowness to move. Cramps are also common, secondary to a buildup of lactic acid from muscle contraction.
weakens the bones
Chronic stress causes resentment (and the emotions associated with it) to activate different molecular signaling pathways of bone metabolism.
It accelerates the decrease in bone density, deteriorates the quality and robustness of the bones by negatively influencing the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis , in charge of maintaining the production of new bone and eliminating the injured one.
Negative emotions and their stressful effect on the body then become risk factors for diseases of the bone tissue, such as osteoporosis.
Increases stress, anxiety and depression
Negative emotions are poison, because hate further fosters resentment and contempt towards others.
This creates difficulties in establishing interpersonal, work and even romantic relationships. It then becomes a vicious circle, since these social difficulties that the person presents only generate even more stress and anxiety.
Stress generates a series of harmful physiological responses: an increase in the number of oxidative and inflammatory substances, a decrease in immune function and, in addition, it is an important psychosocial risk factor for many pathologies.
How to overcome resentment?
Resentment is not easy to conquer. Most have experienced this feeling at some point in their lives, just with varying degrees of intensity.
Holding a grudge is easy. Letting go is not. But it is possible and we will demonstrate some strategies for you to let go of resentment.
Accept what happened
Resentment grows in the person who keeps it inside and feeds it with negative thoughts and actions.
It is born from the person’s inability to accept or let go of what happened. You hold on to the traumatic event that triggered these feelings and refuse to let them go.
However, as much as we wish, the past is written in stone. I cannot be mutated, but what can change are our feelings about what happened.
Acceptance does not necessarily mean pretending or thinking that what happened was good or healthy for you. It means understanding and putting into practice the notion of moving forward.
However, it is not an easy task. We are imperfect beings with a good memory for everything negative in our lives.
To hold a grudge is to give power to the event that occurred or to the perpetrator of it over us and acceptance is to take it out of their hands. Being aware that we have control over our body and mind.
Adequately determine the feeling
This step or approach requires some self-assessment capacity. You must identify what you feel and how it affects you.
When resentment is normalized in our being, it is common for people to be unaware of how resentment generates others, such as anger, fear, or anxiety.
But, self-reflection allows us to identify what we are feeling at a given moment, why we feel that way and how it happened. In an abstract way, visualize your grudge and give it context.
Resentment is not born out of nowhere, it is a chronic feeling with recent superimposed events that sharpen it. Determine and acknowledge the circumstances, created by others or by yourself, that have aroused those negative feelings.
reflect on the effects
Resentment can lead us to act in ways we usually wouldn’t.
Resentment is usually an ever-present emotion that increases at certain times, causing anger. This, in turn, inhibits all irrational thinking.
It makes us say and do things that we would not, under other circumstances.
However, this hurts us and the people around us. A fit of anger can break up family or romantic relationships, lose jobs, and much worse.
These consequences are permanent and affect us directly. Become aware and reflect on how your frustration and anger emanates towards others, and how it hurts them.
Always remember that, in most cases, those we take it out on are not the cause of our internal pain.
Letting off steam and expressing pain
There are healthy practices that can manage pain and resentment, purge them from our system through cathartic approaches.
Write your thoughts. Keeping track of the how, when, and why of our feelings helps us to understand, confront, and contextualize them.
It helps to identify the trigger events that triggered an attack of anger, as well as new reflections on it.
But there is something more important. It helps us avoid them. Recognize the rocks we bump into, and then avoid them.
Cognitive emotional therapies are therapeutic tools that allow the professional to help you identify the root of your resentment (an offense on the part of the other person), and how to work on it.
Avoid thinking repeatedly about the conflict
Reminiscing about the past fosters hatred towards the other person or people who were involved.
Occupy your time and mind. Remember that the amount of resentment you feel is proportional to the time you spend thinking about it.
Therefore, plan your itinerary. Nothing too fancy, but just enough to fill your spare time with healthy, recreational activities will shift the focus in your mind away from resentment of what you’re doing.
Go forward and turn the page
Moving forward is closely related to the first point we talked about, acceptance.
Recognize and accept the past, seek help, vent your feelings in a healthy way, don’t be afraid of stumbling in this long process and replace these negative feelings with others that encourage you to grow as a person.
Forgiveness is key for certain situations. If we seek to forgive, we must be honest about whether we truly do.
Authentic forgiveness is one of the most difficult actions to commit. Learn to let go of what happened and recognize that it is already in the past, giving another chance to the people who caused it.
Imperfections reign in this world and in us. Applying the concept of artificial intelligence, he recognizes that most people are fundamentally emotional. We do not think about our actions and their possible consequences.
How you feel about it is perfectly valid. Forgiving the person does not mean pretending that what happened was for the best or was not negative. Making these concepts clear is important when it comes to genuine forgiveness.
Practice habits that generate inner tranquility
Carrying the emotional burden of resentment affects our body and soul, therefore, it is important to adopt healthy habits.
Exercise, yoga, and meditation techniques are useful tools for uplifting your spirit and emotions.
When you feel that negative thoughts submerge your peace and drown you, practice relaxation techniques to maintain your inner peace. Maintaining it will be imperative if you want to let go of your negative emotions.