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Mindfulness Tips for Transforming Resentment

We’ve all been in situations where, for reasons we can’t understand, we find ourselves resenting a person or situation. It may be a person we like and admire, someone we love to be around and would like to feel good around, but resentment keeps creeping up. The goal is to recognize this feeling and decide to mindfully eliminate it from our interactions.

There are two kinds of resentment: resentment of a person and resentment of a situation (resentment directed toward self). Let’s take a look at both of them.

  1. Resentment of a person
    In this situation, I can recognize I feel resentment and say to myself, ‘I recognize in that person a trait that I would like to have in myself, but do not believe I am able to.’
  2. Resentment of a situation
    In this case, I recognize I prefer some other situation to the one I am currently experiencing, but for some reason that seems out of my control, I believe I can not experience the preferable situation. In this case, I resent myself because I seem helpless.

In order to remove this reaction from my experience, I would need to be mindful enough to recognize when I’m beginning to feel it, and have the tools to re-direct it to another expression or feeling. So, some steps I can take are the following,

  1. First, I can identify the typical scenarios in which I feel resentment, list the people I tend to resent and the situations I find myself in that create resentment for myself. It helps to write these down. This enables me to recognize the situation when it occurs.
  2. Then, re-work previous scenarios in my head to practice for the live event. This gives me the tools to access when I begin to experience resentment and am able to consciously recognize what it happening. When working through a previous experience, I can ask myself the following questions,
    • What about this person or situation do I believe I cannot do or be like?
    • What do I admire about this person or situation that I do not see in myself?
    • What belief do I have that is preventing me from achieving or being like what I resent?
  3. When out and about interacting and resentment begins to emerge, I can then recognize the emotion and stop for a moment to work through the exercises I’ve already practiced. I can recognize that I am experiencing resentment because there is something that I admire. I can focus on that recognition and the feeling of admiration, which is a form of appreciation. Hold onto that feeling and see myself being that way or doing that.  This transforms the resentment into appreciation for my preferences and for the other person.

Give Yourself a Lift With Gratitude

Candle HolderAlso known as a Rampage of Appreciation, beginning your day with 10 minutes of non-stop appreciation for what is in your life right now gets you off to a great start of your day.  The trick is to elevate your mood, then do your thinking or talking.  If you look to something outside of yourself to pick you up, you are not doing an inspired act.  First come the good thoughts, then comes inspiration to take you through a more enjoyable day.  If you run through what you love in your head while feeling your enjoyment of those things, you center yourself into a good feeling place.  An example might be thinking about how warm and cozy the bed is in the morning and taking time to just feel the enjoyment of being warm and cozy.  Writing a list of things that make you smile and keeping it with you throughout the day is a way to provide yourself with a handy pick me up tool you can turn to whenever your mood is dropping.  It’s okay to feel in a positive mood when you are surrounded by others who are down.  It takes a sense of confidence in yourself to not conform to the moods and attitudes of others around you, but you are worth it.

I believe the concept of looking after oneself despite others’ current mindset is one of the hardest things for people to do.  It is human nature to care about others and have empathy for them, but others benefit more from your uplifting mood than from you matching a negative mood.  Keeping yourself centered in the midst of chaos is a daunting task.  Believe in yourself.  You cannot expect anyone else to believe in you until you believe in yourself.  People will flock to those who radiate positivity and benefit from that positivity more than empathy.  Just as you can start a crowd laughing by laughing yourself, a positive mood can be infectious.  Make a habit of appreciation by practicing daily – it will be a tool that integrates seamlessly into your life.

There are many iPhone/iPad app tools that enable you to make lists and track progress.  They range from calendar apps to list apps.  Some examples are the Day One Calendar App, TapList and the default Notes and Reminder Apps that come with the phone.  A future post will cover some apps in more detail that enable you to more easily consciously manage your mood and thoughts.

Happier – an iPhone App

I’ve recently upgraded to an iPhone after sticking with the basic Sprint model for 9 years.  While exploring apps, I came across Happier.  This is a app that enables people to share moments that make them smile by contributing to a social gratitude journal.  You can upload photos or any token of your happy moment to share or comment on others’ moments.  The goal with this app is to share appreciation for moments in your life.  It’s a great tool for implementation of rampages of appreciation.

The Abe Forum

For a place to go to for positive rampages and discussions, the Abe Forum is a network of people determined to be positive.  I recommend the Rampages of Appreciation thread when you want a lift.  This forum is for people who are motivated by Esther Hick’s rendition of an energy called Abraham.  Her site can be found here where the daily quote makes it worth visiting daily.

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