“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
The nineteenth century American poet Ralph Waldo Emmerson once said, “For every minute of anger you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”
This seems obvious but it becomes a lot more powerful when you realize the things that make us angry may happen very quickly. By holding on to this anger for long after the incident is over, we prolong our own unhappiness. Other people or events can make us angry, but it is within our own power to move on. So, how do you let go of resentments and anger and get back your happy times?
Allow Yourself to Feel Anger – For a Moment
This article is about letting go of anger. It’s not about never feeling anger. Anger is a natural emotion that everyone feels from time to time. Pretending that you don’t feel it won’t help, it will only prevent you from processing those emotions in a natural way.
When something goes wrong and upsets you, give yourself a moment to allow yourself to feel angry. Find a way to let the anger out, like taking a quick jog or just a few deep breaths. Next, ask yourself what’s happened and why it angered you.
Once you have a firm grasp on your thought process, ask yourself whether it is helpful. If it is helpful, learn what you can from it. If it isn’t helpful, stop thinking about the problem and start thinking about what to do next.
Look at the Future Instead of Dwelling on the Past
One of the best ways to not only let go of resentments but to avoid them all together is to focus on solutions instead of on setbacks.
Anger isn’t only unpleasant, it’s also unproductive. When you’re spending time griping about how things didn’t go your way, you’re wasting time and energy that could go into finding a solution to the problem. Instead of something that is good for your plan or is not good for your plan, look at everything and say, “it is what it is,” and keep moving forward.
Focusing on what to do next isn’t just productive, it can also help you to feel better. There’s something comforting about making progress, even after a setback. More than that, however, looking for a solution can help to get your mind off of the setback by distracting you from what just went wrong.
Look at Things as Challenges Rather Than Problems
Changing the way that you think about setbacks in general can also help you to move on from them more quickly.
Instead of thinking of the issue as a setback, think of it as a challenge. Most advancement and recognition in this world comes from overcoming challenges, so in a way, everything that goes wrong is an opportunity for those who can find a way to correct it.
What if Another Person Upsets You?
Of course, not everything that makes you angry is something that goes wrong. Other people can make us angry in the ways that they interact with us.
When someone says something that makes you angry, think of it as not being their fault. It could be that they didn’t mean to upset you. Ask yourself what it was. Now, ask yourself whether the person had any way of knowing that what they said would upset you. They probably didn’t. But what if they did?
Think about times that you have said or done things that upset someone. Chances are, it wasn’t because you were angry at that person but because you were angry about something else and that person simply crossed your path. Could this be the case?
If they didn’t know that what they said would hurt you, look at it as a teachable moment and help them to understand what happened. If they did know that what they said would hurt you, try to find out what’s actually bothering them and see if you can help them or make them feel better.
Anger is such a simple emotion but overcoming it can be so hard. Learning to overcome your anger and let go of your resentment can help you to be more productive as well as to regain your inner calm and happiness.
If this is something you need help with and would like to work with me privately please reach out at www.2ofheartshavertown.com
Empath Coach and Healer
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