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Working Through Anger and Resentment in Recovery

resentmentWe all get angry; it’s a normal human emotion and one that you’re bound to deal with during recovery. Resentment is closely tied to anger. Resentment forms when you hold onto anger toward a person, institution or situation – for instance, if you feel snubbed or mistakenly forgotten about by a family member or friend. Both anger and resentment can be harmful to your physical and mental health as well as your recovery. They can trigger relapse if you’re not careful. What’s more, anger and resentment can make you feel emotionally stuck and unable to move forward in your recovery. Luckily, there are both immediate and preventative strategies for working through anger and resentment in recovery.

  • Practice forgiveness: Genuine forgiveness takes time but it can help you reconnect with another person or community as well as parts of your inner self that may have been overshadowed by anger, bitterness and resentment.
  • Think acceptance: A big part of managing your emotions is allowing yourself to understand and accept your emotions. Identify how you’re feeling and allow yourself to feel the emotions without imposing judgement on them or yourself.
  • Be present and mindful: Practice being consciously present with your anger and resentment. Observe how you feel and visualize putting a bubble around these emotions and then letting them go.
  • Practice healthy expression: Share your feelings with safe, supportive individuals whom you trust; for example, during individualized sober coaching or via group therapy. Other ideas: Journal or write about your feelings or work them out through physical activity (walk or run, go for a hike).
  • Use relaxation and self-calming techniques: Managing anger and resentment often means finding ways to relax and find inner calm. This can include meditation, mindfulness, deep breathing, yoga or just quiet, unplugged downtime.
  • Have an attitude of gratitude: Practicing gratitude and appreciating the simple things in your new sober life can help promote positive thoughts and behaviors that support your recovery. Consider keeping a gratitude journal.

Managing Emotions and More During Recovery At Spearhead, we’ll help you learn how to identify and cope with anger, resentment, stress and other emotions that can harm your recovery. To learn more about our gender-specific treatment, call today: 888-483-0528.