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Karen Salmansohn

Karen Salmansohn

Don't Get Even, Get Even Better

Angry? Resentful? Add insight to injury and get happy dammit!

Dumped? Fired? Scorned? Humiliated? Totally pissed off? If so, I've got great news! You might be on your way to living your best life ever—if you consciously choose to channel this pain into fuel—and use it to motivate yourself to become your highest potential self!

In fact, I'm a big believer that some of the most positive times in people's lives are when they reach "To-hell-with-this!" Yes, that blessed "Post-to-hell-with-this" time can be an empowering time of inner-growth and increased happiness.

I admit that when challenging times first surface, it's not one's first instinct to do a happy dance. But when you take time to pause and add insight to injury, you will immediately start to feel empowered to make those majorly needed life shifts. Indeed, I believe all the challenges in your life are here as assignments—to motivate you to wake up and finally have the guts to leave the safety of your familiar ways.

After all, if you keep doing what you're always doing, you'll keep getting what you're always getting. The best things in life are often waiting for you at the exit ramp of your comfort zone. Every bad breakup offers you the opportunity for a huge relationship breakthrough. Every disappointing ending offers you the opportunity for a better, wiser beginning!

With this in mind, I've even gone so far as to re-nickname a cheating ex of mine as "Teacher"—because I feel, thanks to him, I became much wiser and more appreciative of what makes for a healthy, happy relationship. I even replaced this cheating ex's name in my cell phone as "Teacher"—should he ever choose to call.

I know it's tempting to want to indulge in the bittersweet pleasure of feeling grumpily right about being wronged. But there are so many more benefits to letting go and moving positively forward.

Let me start to explain more about what I mean by sharing a little story about a snake and a mistake.

There once was a woman who was wandering in the desert and was bitten by a poisonous snake. All she could think about was how angry she was at this poisonous snake for biting her and angry at herself for wandering in the desert. And so she could not relax, forgive the snake, forgive herself, and thereby calmly see that she could solve this poison problem and save her life, simply by sucking out the poison from her arm, as she'd learned years ago—but forgotten because she was angry. She passed away. The lesson learned? Forgiveness is a panacea for what ails you.

Basically, it's in your best mental interest to release your anger so you can see the world more clearly around you, and seek better solutions for finding the happy, love-filled life you desire and deserve.

It also helps during times of anger to remind yourself that it's not only unhealthy for your mental state, but also for your body, creating coronary heart disease and high blood pressure. Researchers at the University of Ohio have also reported an interesting finding: Angry people take even longer to recover from injury!

Plus, anger has also been shown to be at the root of many addictions as far-ranging as drug, alcohol, food, and shopping addictions. Addicts seek these vices to avoid feeling the pain of past resentments. Their anger becomes a boomerang—a "boomer-anger" of sorts—by coming back at them to whack them with an addiction.

A recent study by the University of Wisconsin did a test comparing "Forgiveness Therapy" versus routine drug/alcohol therapy. They showed that "Forgiveness Therapy" helped to relieve the anger behind substance abuse even more successfully than routine drug/alcohol therapy. Not only did subjects display faster success, but they created less recidivism.

Plus, many quantum physicists believe angry people give off an angry vibration which can be felt in a larger universal energy field—thereby attracting negative circumstances. In contrast, positive, loving energy attracts positive results. Basically, quantum physicists believe that just as there is an alluring sexual attraction (which people can feel, but not see), there's also angry energy repulsion (which people can feel, but not see). If you think angry thoughts, you will literally emit an angry vibration that can be intuitively felt by others—as if you're giving off an anti-charisma.

Whether you believe in what quantum physicists put forth—or not—there are many reasons for re-focusing your angry thoughts during times of upset and conflict—and choosing not to focus on getting even, but instead choosing to focus on getting even better. Below are 10 tips to help you do just that!

1. Whenever you feel like you want to tell off a wrongdoer with big, fat, juicy, angry words, talk to yourself instead. Remind yourself: "I cannot always control what goes on outside. But I can control what goes on inside. I forgive whatever has happened in my past—and am determined to gain insights on how to wisely avoid situations like this one in my future and re-direct my energies in wiser ways—which will lead me to attain the life I want."

2. Encourage yourself to believe that everything happens for a reason. Then choose to seek and find that reason consciously.

3. Write a thank-you letter to whoever has done you wrong for all you've learned. Don't send it. Keep it nearby to read every time you find yourself slipping back into your angry thoughts.

4. Tell yourself: "We are all good, loving souls who occasionally get lost."

5. Remind yourself of a time you were forgiven. Be altruistic. Forgive back the one who has done you wrong.

6. Remind yourself that when you resent someone, you give them control of your emotions. You don't want to give whoever has done you wrong that kind of power.

7. Remind yourself when you respond with hate to hate, anger to anger, bitterness to bitterness, you ironically become part of the problem.

8. If you're feeling stressed in general, supplement your SAM-e levels. SAM-e is a naturally occurring molecule produced in the body that becomes depleted due to stress, age, and diet.

9. Remind yourself that when you train your brain to think more loving thoughts, your positive energy attracts more positive people and results. Plus, being peaceful makes you far sexier—so you're more of a love magnet instead of a negativity magnet.

10. Remember: Living a happy, successful life is the best revenge!

Note: A lot of this article was originally in Karen Salmansohn's The Bounce Back Book—now gearing up for its 7th printing.


About the Author

Karen Salmansohn

Karen Salmansohn is an author and contributor to She also writes a popular business column for amNY newspaper called "The 1 Minute Career Therapist."


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