Holding a grudge is hard work and stressful. Forgiveness lightens your load and allows you to put your energies where it really matters.
There is growing research about the negative health effects of prolonged anger and bitterness. Ruminating on what others have said to you or have done to you is not healthy in the long run. In fact, this persistent mulling over of past words and deeds is a component of chronic stress, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, and many other major mental health disorders.
Here are a few tips for getting on to forgiveness:
- Acknowledge the pain and the incident that caused it. Go ahead and write down all the details about what happened.
- Examine the offending party’s motivation or point of view. Why did this happen? What were they feeling?
- Take a moment and look back at an incident when you erred and someone forgave you.
- Next, decide to forgive. Commit to letting go of the anger and bitterness.
- Stay focused on forgiveness. When the bad memories reappear, think about how good forgiveness feels.
By moving on to forgiveness, you give room for peace, hope, gratitude and joy. By choosing to let go of the negative emotions, your mind and body stop fighting. Physical symptoms may improve including a reduction in blood pressure and heart rate; you may even see a decline in allergies such as hives or chronic itching.
While the injury that you incurred may never go away, forgiveness will minimize the pain that lingers and it will make the past offense less important. Forgiving others can allow you to move on to new feelings of empathy and compassion for the other party. You will feel better because of it.
John Bradley Jackson
© Copyright 2011
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Why the detour into armchair psychology? I have seen many entrepreneurs and corporate executives totally stalled in their careers, because of these negative emotions. Instead of making life better with their creative skills, they wallow in anger while clinging to the hope of revenge. Life is short.