Research on forgiveness and measures of health show that forgiveness in general is positively associated with better health in terms of the heart, hormones, and immune system. There are also psychological benefits of forgiveness. People who forgive more readily are less likely to be depressed and anxious, and more likely to be happy. These physical and psychological qualities could all be key in predicting a longer life. The way you respond when you feel wronged, or when you seek even forgiveness of yourself, has a variety of health-boosting effects. Real forgiveness reduces the anger and frees you from the past.
Many people don’t understand what it means to forgive, so they feel they will lose something if they do. But it’s possible to forgive in a very adult and intelligent way. I’d like to share some pointers on how to forgive almost anyone, set yourself free from the past and really heal.
First of all, it’s important to recognize that forgiveness doesn’t necessarily benefit the person you forgive. It doesn’t mean that you like the person or what he or she did. It doesn’t require that you tell the person you have forgiven him or her. Nor does it require that you forget what has happened, thereby opening yourself up to a repeat of the hurtful behaviour.
You’re the one who gets the benefits of forgiveness, because you’ve set yourself free. Forgiveness gives you back your mental and emotional energy, allowing you to focus on the pleasurable and productive things of life. Forgiveness gives you peace of mind when all other things fail to.
Realize that until you forgive the one who hurt you, he or she is still hurting you, perhaps long after she has stopped thinking about you and the situation. Forgiveness is a way to stop that other person from hurting you and the other people in your life who care about you. Forgiveness can be made easier by trying to understand contributing factors regarding what happened. It can be easier if you can see how the actions also hurt the person who hurt you; They have to live with the effects of what they did even if they don’t consciously acknowledge it.
To sum up, if you want to benefit from the life-extending benefits of forgiveness, don’t wait for others to apologize to you or to promise that they will change. Start the process within your own mind, and you’ll be happier, and live longer. The process of forgiveness can also be encouraged by working with a professional such as a hypnotist, counsellor or psychologist.
Read more about the link between emotions and physical health
Source: “The Secret Language of Feelings A Rational Approach to Emotional Mastery” by Calvin D. Banyan. www.thesecretlanguageoffeelings.com