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If you work a program of recovery or have any knowledge of the 12 steps, then you probably know about steps 4 and 5 where you take your personal inventory and then share it with someone, usually your sponsor. That involves a specific process that you really should do with the guidance of your sponsor. Once you have done that, or perhaps even beforehand, there are things you can do to let go, move on, and find peace – right now. Here are 5 ways to let go of resentment and be happy.

#1. Choose to forgive.

Realize that forgiveness has nothing to do with the person you resent and everything to do with you. You’ve probably heard this definition of resentment: “it’s like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” This is a great way of describing just how harmful it is to harbor resentment. Holding on to resentment is when a person has ongoing upset feelings towards another person, place, or thing because of a real or imagined injustice. You are really only punishing yourself. The other person might not even know about your feelings and you’re walking around with this imagined weight on your shoulders.

Consider these:

“Forgiveness doesn’t excuse their behavior. Forgiveness prevents their behavior from destroying your heart.” – author unknown

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” – Mahatma Gandhi

#2. Realize that they don’t have to be a part of your life.

You always have choice in the matter, any matter, even if you think you don’t. And, you can choose ‘no’ to someone meaning that, you can let go of a resentment you have toward them and then move on. You don’t have to reconcile the relationship. You don’t have to continue to talk to or see this person. If the relationship doesn’t serve you, then you should definitely forgive and forget. Forgiving someone doesn’t mean you have to become besties.

#3. Choose accountability instead of a victim stance.

When you live your life from a “poor me, why is this happening to me” place of course you will be resentful. You will be restless, irritable, and discontent. Acting and thinking like a victim of your circumstances will only keep you down. When you choose to live from a place of accountability, you are actually empowering yourself. Choosing to take responsibility (not blame) for everything in your life as well as choosing to be grateful for it all will leave you feeling happier and at peace.

#4. Pray for the people you have a resentment against.

The act of praying can be described like this: it is when you talk to your Higher Power. Ask your Higher Power for the strength and ability to forgive others who have wronged you or who you think have wronged you in some way. It can be difficult choosing to forgive and there’s nothing wrong with asking for a little help from a power greater than you to give you a leg up.

#5. Try meditation and yoga.

In meditation, you are then listening to your Higher Power. You are quieting your mind and gaining balance. Yoga is a great way to learn to meditate and feel good at the same time. By doing these, you will feel at peace and therefore happier. You will gain insight and mental, emotional, psychological clarity that can support you in being healthier all around, which includes getting rid of resentments. Like it says in #1, resentment is like poison. And therefore, it’s completely unhealthy to hold on to it. Practice mindfulness.

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