Feelings of resentment are extremely common in relationships. Left unchecked, they can be destructive and slowly destroy the foundations of a healthy relationship.

Resentment in romantic partnerships creates emotional distance and removes empathy between partners. This can fuel the fire for destructive communication patterns such as criticism, hatred, defensiveness, and stonewalling. In addition, partners stop turning to each other for support and stop sharing their inner world, so that they inevitably break up.

What causes resentment in relationships?

Feelings of anxiety are often rooted in past disappointments, feelings of betrayal, unresolved conflicts, outside interference, and relationship imbalances when it comes to sharing the burden of responsibility.

How Can Meditation and Mindfulness Help?

Before we discuss how meditation and mindfulness can help overcome feelings of resentment, we need to understand what it is. Meditation is a broad category of practices and techniques that promote a heightened state of awareness and well-being by focusing attention on the present moment. Cultivating a meditation or mindfulness practice has many potential benefits, including lower blood pressure, reduced anxiety, reduced physical pain, and can be helpful in managing difficult emotions such as resentment.

Here are some ways that practicing mindfulness and meditation can help you overcome feelings of resentment:

1. It helps to be in the present moment

Because anxiety stems from the past, meditation and mindfulness can help you by bringing you into the present moment and understanding how focusing on what happened in the past is affecting you in the present.

The present moment is all we really have, so it’s the most important place to rest our focus. The past exists only in our memory and the future only in our imagination. Being aware of this can help us build a healthier and more balanced relationship with the past.

Anxiety is the accumulation of past hurts that we feel have been caused by others. We don’t have to forget the past, a better strategy is to notice how much our thinking revolves around past events and ask ourselves if this is helpful. How does this focus on the past affect me now, in the present moment?

A useful strategy for releasing painful memories is to name them. When you find your thoughts drifting into the past, simply calling them “remembering” or “memory” calls them out for what they are. If these memories bring up difficult emotions, you can turn to a technique like the RAIN exercise, or alternatively focus on an anchor like your breath or do a body scan to help you become more present in the present moment.

2. Increases self-awareness

Increased self-awareness will allow us to gain a deeper understanding of what we have learned from our past experiences. As mentioned earlier, developing a more balanced relationship with the past will reduce the negative feelings associated with reliving the memories associated with the resentment we hold.

But how can we develop ourselves? Lyn Moseley – Melbourne psychologist explains how mindfulness can help:

“By learning how to focus and resist the pull to live our lives on autopilot, we can become more self-aware. It means learning to slow things down in the present moment and make room for more conscious self-awareness. This process is called becoming conscious. By learning how to consciously detach from the clutter of our thoughts and the intensity of our emotions, we can be more self-compassionate about our needs and make more conscious decisions about how we want to live our lives.

3. It helps us develop healthier ways of thinking

A myth about meditation and mindfulness is that its purpose is to stop thoughts from happening. The reality is that this is not actually possible. Thinking is the work of the mind, so thinking is completely natural and does not need to be turned off. The goal of mindfulness and meditation is to train ourselves to carefully observe our thoughts. This allows us to develop increased self-awareness and a calmer, more expansive mind.

Often when recalling painful past memories, we can focus on what the other person said or did, how it made us feel, and what we think it meant. Meditation and mindfulness help us learn that even though these thoughts are real (they happen in our mind), they are not necessarily true.

Mindfulness and meditation help us learn that what we feel is influenced by our thoughts, which are often influenced by our core beliefs. For example, you are upset because your close friend forgot your birthday. Observe what beliefs underlie your reaction to this. Beliefs like “I’m not important” or “I’m not lovable” or more specifically, “the people who love you should remember your birthday” will cause us to react internally charged with these beliefs.

Understanding that our reality is created by what we believe to be true helps us identify those beliefs to gain a deeper understanding of how we respond to life. This in turn gives us the tools to respond to frustrations or things that cause pain within us. From there, we can take more informed actions to address concerns in relationships with others, or seek additional help if needed.

4. Help us move forward and progress

And we have to ask ourselves, is this something I’m ready to carry into my future, or do I need to find a way to overcome it?

Pay attention to how you feel when feelings of anxiety arise. Most likely, this is an unpleasant feeling, and your thoughts will be based on the behavior of others. The art of meditation and mindfulness is not to eliminate these feelings, but to allow them and with loving attention to give them a deeper insight. Ask yourself: ‘What do I believe?’ or ‘what is this story about?’ it can be a good trigger to explore deeper feelings of lingering resentment.

From this place of deeper awareness and understanding, you’ll be in a better position to move forward and take the necessary steps to address the root cause of the anger, if it’s appropriate, or simply decide it’s time to let it go.

5. Help us respond rather than react

We cannot change the behavior of others, but we can change how we react to it.

One of the most powerful aspects of deep meditation and mindfulness practice is that it creates a breadth in our experience that allows us to observe the ever-changing nature of our thoughts, feelings, and sensations without becoming too involved with them. Much of what we experience is affected by the content of our minds, and this affects how we respond to the circumstances that arise in our lives.

When we hold on to anxiety, feelings around past hurts or disappointments will affect how we respond to future experiences in relationships. It is not necessary to eliminate all resentful feelings, but to pay attention to them without giving them power. It can help us express our feelings with less emotional baggage, which will help us be less reactive and at the same time improve our ability to communicate and build intimacy in relationships.

Written by Marieke Byford – Founder and Writer of Travel-lightly.com


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less to achieve more. Traditional fertility books written by men barely address the tangle of cultural pressures women feel on their to-do list. How to get the job done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life you want to excel in, and then show you how to offload, outsource, or just ignore the rest.

Source link


Leave A Reply