When we are bitter, it affects our all our lives – thinking, feeling, speaking, behavior, and all our relationships. This is because of the pain and hurt inside of us. Sometimes we will even feel it in our physical bodies and the physical pain lodged from trauma can be intense. Please know, we have to go to doctors and have be examined and make sure something is not wrong.
When we have been so hurt for so long we may not even remember how feeling good feels like. We may just know the bitterness, anger/rage, hurt, fear, jealousy, sorrow and loss. We may have many ways to cope with it, some healthy and some not so healthy trying to settle and stop the turbulence and battle down inside of us.
Here are some NOT healthy techniques;
- Ignoring my feelings – feeling literally grow stronger inside of us if we do not feel our feeling appropriately. (See below).
- Bitterness grieves even our spirit – ignoring God and our religion hurts us even more
- Substance abuse (any kind) – a drug is a drug is a drug that include alcohol. It doesn’t not matter how we get the drug in our system they all damage us physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
- Food – either over or under eating can help comfort us but may hurt our bodies.
- Any kind of addictions – food, exercise, shopping, stealing, work, etc.
Note: an addition is a repeated behavior we use to help us deal with pain that creates a chemical change in our bodies. We often get an Adrenalin rush from most addictions.
- Hurting yourself – cutting, hitting, burning, sexting, etc. This often gives us a high and reduces the emotional pain inside of us. Surprising isn’t it?
- Emotionally putting yourself down – we can be our own worst critic and even punish ourselves for any misbehaving as we perceive it.
- Staying in abusive relationships
- Yelling or hitting others – includes our children
- And the list goes on….
Here are some healthy ways to deal with feelings.
- Feel the feelings fully and appropriately. This is so important! Appropriately means to follow these three rules: (1) Can’t hurt myself, (2) Can’t hurt something alive – plants, animals or people; (3) Can’t damage property I don’t want to damage. Children get – you can’t damage property.
These HAVE to be followed. Following them we can do many things to release the feeling from inside of us. We can cry, write, journal, draw, sculpture, etc.
Let’s talk about anger. Anger often gets us into a lot of trouble and we need a safe way to release its physical energy as well as the Adrenalin that comes with it. Following the three rules, we can beat a pillow, mattress, punching bag (stuffed duffel bags are great); yell/scream (if you don’t want anyone to hear your, fill your sink with water and then scream in the water …or swim and do it; twist a towel real hard or have someone hold an end of a sheet and twist; yell/scream; slam doors (not refrigerator or glass doors – good strong ones); etc. Again following the three rules we can release any feeling safely without hurting ourselves or someone else.
Note: If you were abused and have a fear of hurting someone when you are angry, always do your anger work by yourself when no one is around. Know also you may be afraid of anger because of what you experienced.
- Get into counseling or psychotherapy and stay there until you find more of you, have less intense painful feelings, gained insight and wisdom and life has gotten better.
- Talk with trusted friends about how you feel
- Pray and spend time with God.
- Attend religious services
- Find your passion and purpose. That often involves using what has happened to us in a way that makes a difference in the world.
- Start thanking God for everything in your life – the good, bad and ugly. This helps the brain physically shift old patterns of thinking to more positive ones.
- Develop the skill of forgiveness, forgive often.
- Forgive and pray for those who hurt you. This is a process and takes time. I usually does not happen overnight. The more we heal, the more we can forgive. The more I heal, the more I forgive, the freer I become.
- Exercise, but not to the extent it becomes excessive and abusive to you
These are only some of the way to cope, I am sure you can think of many more. We usually have to try different ways to find the ways that work best for us. People seem to have favorite ways to release them appropriately.
Feel free to contact me.