Learn how to let go of hurt and anger in five simple steps – effective even when you tend to hold a grudge.
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Of these five steps, the act of breathing deeply and pivoting are especially effective. You can learn more about pivoting from the amazing power of deliberate intent.
This post comes from a period of reflection yesterday and today that came about after I was attacked online and I felt both hurt and angry.
I have a tendency to hold grudges, something I’ve been trying to curb for years, so I spent a bit of time processing the emotions.
In this current climate of fear, worry and anxiety, the last thing I needed was to let yet another negative person impact my life.
But first, let me give you the quick backstory.
Yesterday, I saw a comment in one of my Facebook groups from a woman who was self-isolating. She’d said something along the lines of how exhausted she is but her garden was thriving (or something like that) and then ended her statement with the comment, “Life is good.”
Another member of the group – let’s call her R – told her to “take her gloating somewhere else” because not everyone is as fortunate as the original poster (OP).
I reread the original comment and came to a different conclusion: Perhaps OP is simply looking for the simple things in life that she could celebrate amidst all the negativity happening today.
So, I responded to R that I didn’t think OP was gloating, simply celebrating the little things. I also mentioned that I also self-isolating too so could relate and am actually looking for the little things myself.
I read my comment before pressing enter. And that was that, I forgot all about it until I got the notification that she’d responded.
R basically said: “Go peddle your live a blissful life crap somewhere else. We live in troubling times.”
To say I was taken aback would be a huge understatement.
I felt hurt and angry, no doubt about that.
I’d come far enough in my inner work to know why I felt hurt and angry.
Answer: I felt I was attacked unfairly when I’d been nothing but polite and simply wished to clarify what I perceived to be a misunderstanding.
I’ve also achieved enough enlightenment to know – in my mind – that this whole exchange and the other person’s reply wasn’t really about me. The dialogue was going on inside her own mind.
But emotions are rarely logical and despite knowing all this, my feelings were hurt and because they were hurt (a hugely uncomfortable emotion for me), I got really angry.
The question that preoccupied me after that scenario was how to let go of hurt and anger. How do I move past them?
These two days have proved really enlightening and exciting.
In fact, I’m half-tempted to send R a thank-you note for sparking this deeper self-awareness in me. But, thanks to step #4, I won’t actively do that.
But if R ends up reading this post, you know who you are and I’m eternally grateful.
Disclaimer: Please remember that this post is not intended to replace proper medical guidance or medication. If you suspect you have mental health issues, then please see your doctor to obtain a diagnosis. Alternatively, you can get matched to a licensed therapist online who is available 24/7.
How to let go of hurt and anger #1: Pause
How do you normally react when you experience that initial spike of hurt and anger?
For many of us, the need to retaliate, to get back, to stick it until it hurts so they also feel what you’re feeling, can be quite strong.
When you’re online it’s so easy to let your feelings get the best of you, to just suddenly come up with a retort that could escalate rather than diffuse the situation.
And once it escalates, it can be even more difficult to let go of hurt and anger.
So, the first step is to just pause.
You might feel a strong desire to push back but you need to restrain yourself.
Give yourself the space to clear that red haze of anger that’s pushing you to take action that you might regret later on.
If you must, grit your teeth, dig your nails into your palms, hold yourself as still as possible. And don’t act.
How to let go of hurt and anger #2: Breathe
Step #2 comes almost at the same times as Step #1.
Pausing, refraining from action, will be a lot easier if you were breathing deeply.
Inhale as deeply as you can. Pause. And then exhale all of it out slowly – not just your breath but all your emotions.
You can actually feel this viscerally.
Try it. Inhale as deeply as you can, until you feel like your lungs might explode as it’s so full.
Pause for a few seconds (try counting to 4).
And exhale as slowly as you can. But don’t stop until your lungs feel empty.
Chances are you feel much more relaxed. Much more able to face the attack that’s led you feeling hurt and wanting to hurt back.
Keep doing that until your head is clearer. And then go to Step #3.
How to let go of hurt and anger #3: Reflect
This involves a certain skill.
Reflection is essential when you feel hurt and angry. if you’ve not done it before, then I highly recommend you try journalling now (see resources below).
It’s one of the best ways for you to acknowledge, process and release your emotions. And to fully let go of hurt and anger, you need to do all three.
Reflection is something you should be doing for all other aspects of your life – not just the emotional side. It will help you really determine if you’re on the path you really wish to be or if you’ve gone astray.
For more on the value of reflection and how to do it effectively, check out our resource list below.
How To Start A Journal – If you’ve never journaled before, this post will give you all the information you need to so you can start and keep this effective habit.
How To Reflect – A post that explains the value of reflection and the process you can use to do it effectively.
Acknowledge your emotions.
When you’re reflecting on what happened and you’re wrestling with your emotions, you need to acknowledge what you’re feeling.
It’s hugely uncomfortable to do so, especially when your feelings are mostly negative bu the truth is, you can’t move past them, you can’t release them until you first acknowledge that they exist.
You can’t move from anger to love until you accept that you were angry in the first place.
So, start writing everything down in a piece of paper – preferably in your journal. You don’t need a fancy format. Just brain dump everything.
What happened and what do you feel about it?
This is private stuff so don’t censor your thoughts.
Write everything down so you can see what’s going on inside your head. It’s like that scene in Harry Potter when Professor Dumbledore used his wand to remove some of the memories that cluttered his mind.
Use your pen as your wand and your journal as a Pensieve.
Process your emotions.
You’ll be tempted to stop writing once you’ve written your emotions down because for the most part, simply acknowledging the feeling can be cathartic enough.
Most of us are taught to ignore or bury all those negative emotions so even the simple act of acknowledging that they’re there may bring you the relief you need.
But don’t. Don’t stop.
Keep going until you’ve fully processed your emotions.
Look at the emotions you feel and ask yourself why. Why do you feel this way? Why did you react the way you did?
If you felt hurt, what caused it?
Did you feel betrayed? Did you think that you were treated unfairly? Did you think you deserved more than what you actually got?
Examine the root cause.
It might surprise you.
When I examined the reasons for my feelings of hurt and betrayal over that response, I realised it had to do with the fact that I thought I’d been very polite and helpful, only to have my efforts flung against my face.
Worse, R had used, not just my blog, but the ethos that underpinned my life to do the flinging.
When you give your all to a cause, when you live your life according to a purpose and someone comes to ridicule, mock or invalidate that cause or that purpose, it will not only sting, it has the potential to enrage.
And that’s what I felt.
But guess what? As soon as I came face-to-face with the reason for my hurt and anger, they started to dissipate.
And now, a mere 24 hours later, I’ve managed to let go of most of my hurt and my anger. A far cry from my usual Moof holding a grudge for years.
Release your emotions.
There are many, many ways you can release your emotions.
For some, acknowledging the feeling and discovering the root cause could be enough. But often, it isn’t.
Sometimes, you really need to let it out.
When I was a teenager, I used to go to my dojo or invite a sparring partner over and I’d literally punch, kick and fling all the negative emotions out of my body and my mind.
Now, I’m a lot older and sadly out of practice (and with the pandemic, gyms are closed anyway), I do a lot of other things.
Sometimes, I cry and that can bring so much relief that I always recommend it. Cry if you must. There’s no shame in that.
Or you can watch a comedy, something guaranteed to make you laugh out loud (until you cry). Laughter is the best medicine, as they say, and I find this to be true.
You can also try tapping therapy. And if you’re going to do that, I highly recommend Brad Yates (see resource list).
This is my go-to person when I need to let go of negative emotions that just won’t go away.
Brad Yates YouTube – Free EFT videos you can follow.
EFT for Everyone – If you’re interested in trying EFT for the first time or you want to know if it’s really beneficial and how other people used this, then this is the perfect book for you.
The Key to Success – If you want to change your life but you’re fighting yourself – the most powerful enemy you’ve ever encountered, then read this book now. When you’re blocking your own efforts, it might be time to pull the big guns out, dive deep into the source of your resistance and finally set yourself free.
A Garden of Emotions – Includes 10 downloadable videos, this tapping program will help you deal with fear, anxiety, shame, anger, sadness, grief, worry. Designed for kids but also good for adults, this is the number one book I recommend if you’re just starting out. Especially relevant in this age of rising bullying problems and childhood mental health issues.
The Wizard’s Wish – A fantastic book that’s not just fun for children (and adults) to read, but will also teach you a simple and effective way to feel good – and good about yourself.
The EFT Wizard’s Big Book of Tapping Scripts – 101 tapping scripts you can use to smash your way out of fear and finally claim a life of health, abundance and joy.
How to let go of hurt and anger #4: Protect
Just because you’ve acknowledged, processed and released your emotions don’t mean you don’t need to safeguard yourself.
When you were reflecting on what happened and what you needed to do, you’d have encountered a number of triggers, those things that will always leave you hurt and angry.
Set yourself up for success by protecting your self.
Avoid, where you can, such triggers.
For example, the incident I had with R made me realise that I was getting a lot of notifications from that particular group and I always followed those notifications because I was getting bored.
I’d go there, read the post, which was almost always a complaint and I’d finish the session really feeling icky and full of anger and even hate.
Now, they were all valid complaints, I have to admit but complaining is really pretty useless. Venting is one thing but complaining without offering solutions is another.
What did I do?
To protect myself, I chose to disassociate and just left the group.
I had more things I needed to focus on than complaints, no matter how valid.
20 Things You Need To Give Up Now – A list of the things you need to give up in order to remain grounded and live a blissful life.
The Five Major Pieces To The Life Puzzle – An amazing guidebook to help you succeed in life. Discover too the value of associations and why you might want to disassociate from negative people if you really want to succeed.
How to let go of hurt and anger #5: Pivot
Just because you’ve let go of hurt and anger, doesn’t mean you need to forget what happened or that you never ever feel the hurt and anger again.
Sometimes, the memories come back and, especially in the beginning, they can be particularly sharp.
What do you do when you remember what happened and all the feelings come rushing back?
You can go through this whole process again, yes, as often as you need but really, what you can do is simply to adapt Abraham Hick’s manifest technique and simply pivot.
Pivoting simply requires you to notice the thoughts and emotions that come to you. If you catch yourself thinking of your hurt and anger, pause, take a deep breath and say to yourself, “Okay, I’m feeling hurt and angry. That’s okay. I choose something better. I choose to feel love.”
Final thoughts on how to let go of hurt and anger when you hold a grudge
It’s not easy when you hold a grudge to let go of hurt and anger but fortunately, there are ways to cope.
If you follow the five steps I talk about in this post, you’ll be able to finally release such negative emotions and move past them:
Step 1: Pause.
Step 2: Breathe.
Step 3: Reflect.
Step 4: Protect.
Step 5: Pivot.
Do you also hold grudges when you get hurt or angry? What do you to move past them? Let me know in the comment below. I’d love to hear from you! 🙂