Forgiveness: Your Health Depends on It
Many people have misconceptions about what forgiveness really means—and they may eschew it. Others may want to forgive, but wonder whether or not they truly can. Forgiveness does not necessarily come easily; but it is possible for many of us to achieve, if we have the right tools and are willing to put in the effort.
Life is too short to spend it unhappily harboring negative emotions. Read on to learn ways in practicing forgiveness.
Benefits of Practicing Forgiveness
Improves Physical Health
Research shows forgiving others actually leads to better physical health! Better heart health is among the top physical benefits of forgiveness. Recently, studies are showing a lower risk of heart attack, reduced blood pressure and better cholesterol levels when we choose forgiveness. People also experience better sleep and reduced pain levels.
Improves Mental Health
Those same studies also indicate better mental health is a benefit of forgiveness. People are experiencing reduced anxiety and depression when they forgive others. Also, stress levels tend to be lower. The most interesting part of the research was the increased likelihood of post traumatic stress disorder when hanging on to grudges.
Ways to Practice Forgiveness:
Remember what you liked about them
If you want to forgive someone that was once a friend, relative or partner – there must, at some point, have been something you liked about them. Try and think about them in a positive light. Maybe they made you laugh, or were generous, or interesting to talk to. Love is the key to forgiveness, and forgiveness is the key to happiness.
Be kind instead of right
Two wrongs don’t make a right. Just because someone has behaved badly, does not mean you have to stoop to their level and retaliate, respond in an aggressive way. Be the bigger person. Be kind, not only to them but to yourself.
Consider How Not Forgiving Is Affecting Your Life
If you are hesitant to forgive, ask yourself this question: How is not forgiving yourself or others affecting your life? Are you having trouble sleeping? Is it causing you anxiety or depression? Do you feel angry or irritated all the time? With this in mind, you can think of what you may have to gain from forgiveness.
Get Some Help
If you’re still struggling with this problem, get in touch with a professional. Dr. Carla is ready to help you learn the skills to forgive and move on.