St. Augustine Woman's Journal - Educational Resource to the Women of St. Johns County Since 2009

Are You Holding Resentment?


June 1, 2019 | View PDF

When people believe they are entitled to feel bitter indignation for having been treated unfairly they can also be unaware of the actual harm this may be causing. While acknowledging the initial feeling of being upset is normal, holding on to resentment can be as burdensome as carrying a backpack full of bricks. Carrying resentment can cause psychological harm as it creates “emotional velcro” and attaches to other similar feelings. This can impact your world view and lead to a negative outlook. Physically, resentment can create hormonal shifts, causing extreme stress to the immune and cardiovascular systems. Social impact occurs as relationships are distanced and walls of self-protection are constructed. Resentment can even impact intimacy and decrease sex drive.

How can you know if you are resentful?

• Do you replay a past scenario in your head over and over?

• Do you find yourself seeking agreement from others on how you were wronged?

• Do you feel a chronic sense of annoyance or irritation?

• Do you wish vengeance or justice for the offender?

• Do you think you are protecting yourself from future pain by creating a wall around your heart?

• Do you feel you have not been heard or understood or validated?

• Do you tend to blame others without considering your own contribution to the problem?

• Do you suffer from psychosomatic symptoms such as insomnia, TMJ, headache, or digestion issues?

How do we free ourselves from such a powerful and destructive emotion?

Moving past resentment involves acknowledging and expressing it. Communication is essential for empathy to be experienced, which can lead to change. Sometimes, it is not possible or healthy to communicate to the offender, however, this pain still needs to be expressed. Release can occur through choosing to let go, forgiveness, meditation and

energy psychology techniques such as EFT. Acknowledge where you have power and take action there, but also release anything where you don’t have power. For example, you may not have had power over the situation where someone betrayed you, but you do have power over your healing and recovery.

Can you imagine what it would be like to feel emotionally lighter and physically healthier with a greater capacity for love?

Please call WellSpring Counseling and Health today- we can help!

WellSpring Counseling and Health, LLC, is located at 1301 Plantation Island Drive, Suite 201A, St Augustine, Fl. 32080. You can schedule an appointment by calling 904-770-7587 or by going to our website at and click set appointment.

Kathleen Abbott, MSW, LMHC

Kathleen is a graduate from Florida State University and is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with over 25 years of experience. She specializes in faith-based counseling, relationships, eating disorders and PTSD. She has considerable experience in high conflict family court cases and works with children, adolescents and adults. Kate is passionate about her client relationships and feels that it is a privilege to be asked to enter into the sacred space of one’s mind and heart. Believing that, “transformation begins with the renewing of the mind” Kate enables clients to disable destructive belief patterns and create a mindset of peace and joy.


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