Holding grudges are not only bad for your mind, but research is showing that it’s also bad for your health! More and more evidence is being gathered and shows that hanging on to long-term anger can actually cause a variety of major health problems. How can simply letting go of bitterness improve your health? Besides the great mental weight that will be lifted from you, you may find that forgiving someone helps to:
* Lower your heart rate and blood pressure
* Reduce stress and hostility levels in general
* Manage stress and anger better overall
* Reduce depression, anxiety, and chronic pain
* Promote feelings of wellbeing—mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually
* Improve relationships and increase friendships
But how can you ultimately forgive someone who’s done you wrong? Of course it isn’t easy, but in the long run what does holding a grudge really offer you? Not much, and the positive aspects of letting go of your anger far outweigh the benefits of hanging onto it!
1. Realize that forgiving someone is a commit and may be a long process. It doesn’t usually happen overnight and isn’t as easy as flipping a switch.
2. Think about what you’ve gained by holding onto your anger as opposed to what you can gain by letting go. Write it down. Seeing this in your own writing is often enough to help the process of forgiving.
3. Go over the incident that caused the rift between you and the other person. Could you have handled it differently? Are there truly two sides to this story? If the other person actually did act out in spite or negligence, can you see that holding onto the grudge is only hurting you and nobody else?
4. Choose to be in control rather than a victim. By allowing another person to have a hold on your mind and emotions, you’re choosing the victim role. Successful people learn from conflict, let go, and move on.
5. Try to find the lesson in the situation. Yes, everything we go through in life, especially the bad times, can help us learn valuable lessons! Use the negative situation you went through to become stronger and wiser.
By following these steps you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of forgiveness. You’ll also find that you no longer look for the bad in situations or people, but rather face others with more understanding and compassion. We can’t forget, but we certainly have the choice to forgive and move on. Do it for your own health, wellbeing, and peace of mind.