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5.31.12

Forgiving for Better Health

Do find yourself digging your heels into the ground and holding grudges when really it would be much easier to forgive? Check out this article from LesserEvil Life, there is science behind forgiveness:

The words, “I can never forgive you,” may be more damaging to your health than to your relationships. A study performed at Mayo Clinic showed the negative effects of holding a grudge on the cardiovascular system, reporting elevated blood pressure and heart rates in those who can’t let go. Reports also showed an increase in muscular tension and the feeling of being out of control.

Courtesy of Slightly Everything

Forgiveness can also have positive effects on your mental well-being. Research shows that helps reduce grief, depression, anxiety, as well as anger. Being hurt and angry are normal reactions toward offensive acts such as betrayal and abuse.

Things turn unhealthy when you are unable to acknowledge the anger and process the events that occurred. Forgiveness doesn’t have to mean you condone the offensive behavior or that you excuse what happens. It simply means that you acknowledge the hurt and let it go.

Learning to forgive is not an easy process and it may differ from person to person. It’s crucial to recognize the pain caused by someone else’s actions and understand that you must heal from this event. Once you do, find a different way to think about this person. You may even go as far as telling them you forgive them.

The emotional and physical relief you feel from forgiving is rewarding. It also allows you to move on with your life. Studies have shown that women are more apt to forgive and men hold onto grudges much longer. The same research also suggests that both genders are more capable of forgiving when they see themselves as capable of committing the same offense.

Perhaps empathy is another step toward healing. The offense may seem personal, but if you step into the other person’s shoes, you may also find that it is a mistake that anyone can make.

The Big Question: Are you one to hold a grudge, or does forgiveness come easy to you? Share in the comments below!