Why Holding Grudges Is Bad & How To Let It Go?
“Holding a grudge is letting someone live rent-free in your head.”
Whenever you are around someone against whom you are holding grudges, your behavior changes automatically. You lose control, become upset, avoid them, feel the bitterness inside, and anything that comes inside in your head about them is negative only. It is also true that you can easily lose temper and get irritated around them. But have you ever realized that holding grudges only hamper our self-growth?
Why Holding Grudges Stops You From Growing?
Freeing someone from your negative thoughts will free your mind and it feels like flying again. But when you carry a grudge, you are not able to open your heart towards anyone as freely as you should. In fact, research suggests that those who don’t forgive others are susceptible to high blood pressure, heart problems and poor immune systems.
With physical problems come mental disorders like depression and anxiety. These disorders are enough to make you unhappy and angry. It seems like they revolve around problems rather than finding a solution to it.
So, stop lying to yourself and let the grudge go for your own betterment. Forgiveness frees you from the grip of pain and heaviness at the same time. The question comes how? Well, let us give you an idea about how not to hold grudges against someone.
Why Can’t I Get Over a Grudge?
There could be various reasons why you can’t let go of a grudge. One of them is the constant cycle of replay. Our brains have this feature that loves to hit the replay button on all our negative experiences. When you hold a grudge, it’s like your mind spinning the same hurtful experiences over and over again. Breaking this cycle can be challenging, but we need to break this to move forward.
Another reason you can’t get over a grudge could be having an illusion of control. Grudges you hold in your heart give you a false sense of control. It almost feels like holding onto your anger would keep the other person accountable for their actions. The reality is that clinging to grudges and old hurts doesn’t change anything, it just keeps you in the same place.
Holding a grudge can become somewhat of a comfort zone that you feel safe in. Letting go of grudges means stepping out of your comfort zone, which can be terrifying. It can be unfamiliar — the absence of grudges — so you might feel comfortable holding onto the grudges instead.
How To Let The Grudges Go From Within?
Holding a grudge is a vicious cycle and freeing yourself from it does take time. So be patient, hold the will and get going!
1. Communicate The Issue
If you are holding a grudge against your closed one whom you could actually communicate the problem then don’t refrain. Communicating doesn’t mean solving it out completely but venting out your feelings can make you feel better. The person in front of you will also understand the places where situations went wrong. The situation of being hurt will pass on with your communication and the process of forgiveness begins itself.
2. Don’t Make The Other Person Villain
It is possible that you are holding grudges without knowing that the person is even aware of his actions. It might not be his intention to hurt you but miscommunication is the reason for a broken heart. Have you wondered that the person might also be going through personal struggles and may need additional help? So, instead of making them a villain, clear the issue nicely.
3. If Forgiveness Of Others Matter, Don’t Hesitate
Instead of getting on with your life with a grudge for your own mistake, talk to the person and say sorry. It might be important to keep your ego aside in this case but remember that you have one life to live freely and you are going to try your best for it.
Even if someone doesn’t forgive you, you can at least enjoy your life with the feeling of trying it once. Moreover, don’t forget to forgive yourself and move on.
4. Keep Emotions Aside For A Moment & Act Bigger
Anyone who is going through a pile of emotions may not be able to find the solutions for current problems and grudges followed. You may need to act bigger and apologize first. Take the responsibility to renew and strengthen your relationship.
Be clear of your thoughts and tell them ‘I am mad at you because you did this.’ It will also let the other person grab a chance to express his hidden thoughts and clear out the grudges altogether.
5. Be Kind
One thing is clear; whenever you hold grudges for someone, you cannot act very kind around them. And this is why the process is tough and long. But when you let your guards down with kindness and forgiveness, you would actually be appreciated around. Acting kind and being nice will definitely not let you go down.
Coping Activities To Practice Letting Go of Grudges
So, how can you let go of grudges? I have a list of some quick, practical, and easy activities that you can do to practice letting go of grudges;
Write it, Rip it
Take a piece of paper and write down everything that comes to mind. Write down your thoughts, feelings, the whole story, and every emotion that comes to mind. Once you’re done with that, rip the paper or burn it. It could be a symbolic gesture that can help you let go of all the pent-up feelings and emotions in your heart.
Another activity you can do to let go of grudges is gratitude journaling. Shift your focus from what’s wrong to what’s right in your life. Begin writing in a gratitude journal where you focus on writing the positive things that are happening in your life. This activity acts as a planting ground where you sow the seeds of gratitude and positivity that overshadow the weeds of resentment.
Two Chairs Technique
Another activity (and one of my favorites) is the Two Chairs Technique. It’s quite simple, too. Imagine having a conversation with the person who you have a grudge against. Set up a pair of chairs and imagine them sitting on one while you sit on the other chair. Express your feelings honestly and allow yourself to imagine hearing their side of the story. This activity can offer a sense of closure and perspective to the whole experience.
Another activity that might seem overrated but works miraculously is mindfulness. All you need to do is focus on your breath, let your thoughts and emotions flow, and observe them without judgment. This practice can help you stay in the present moment and break the cycle of rumination, helping you let go of your grudges along the way, gradually but surely.
Random Acts of Kindness
“What goes around comes around” – The same applies to grudges and the act of letting go of them. Turn the negative energy into positive action. Engage in small random acts of kindness for others without expecting anything in return.
It can feel amazing how spreading positivity can create a ripple effect, not only helping others, but also helping you let go of negativity and grudges you hold in your heart.
A Word From The Writer
Self-forgiveness is the strength you must imbibe within. When you let the grudges go away, it actually shows your power and no weakness. And if you love yourself, I am sure you will only fuel love in others.
Healing of your emotions quickens and you are never the victim of any irrelevant situation. Even if you are, you know that you can break the vicious cycle with your mental superpower.