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Happy people are more forgiving than unhappy people.
When someone wrongs you somehow, you might feel certain you’ll never be able to get over it. Even after your immediate anger passes, you might continue to dwell on the betrayal instead of letting it fade into memory.
The act of forgiving, on the other hand, can be a powerful tool to your well-being. When you forgive someone, you choose to give up your negative feelings whether the person deserves it or not.
Forgiveness is associated with improved physical and mental health; it isn’t easy, but your innate capacity for forgiveness offers hope that it is possible. It’s incredible what people can forgive. Forgiveness is medicine for the body, mind, and spirit.
Here are some of the benefits to our mental health when we forgive:
Lessens stress level
It reduces stress by releasing the power of the person or situation over you; holding onto anger and resentment not only disrupts relationships with others, but puts stress on your own body, and is linked to cancers and other diseases.
Improves anger management skills
The ability to let things go and move forward in life will bring you more happiness. Studies have found that people who have resentment and anger suffer from more health problems.
Decreases depression and anxiety symptoms
Forgiveness gives us healing and grace and can replace depression with a sense of purpose and compassion. Also, anxiety often arises when we fear that we’ve done something wrong. Our guilty conscience causes anxiety at a deep level. Forgiveness helps us to love ourselves deeply, relieving us of inner pain.
Reduces chronic pain
Clinical observations suggest that many patients with chronic pain have difficulty forgiving persons they perceive as having unjustly offended them in some way. These findings indicate that forgiveness can be reliably assessed in patients with persistent pain.
Emotional forgiveness is the replacement of negative unforgiving emotions with positive other-oriented emotions. Emotional forgiveness involves psychophysiological changes, and it has more direct health and well-being consequences. By releasing our grievances, we become more harmonious on all levels. Nightmares recede and exciting new life visions become commonplace. We feel calmer, happier and ready to give compassion and love to our world.
In reality, forgiveness simply means choosing to let go of your anger, hurt, and desire for vengeance. It is vital to the healing process because it allows you to let go of anger, guilt, shame, sadness, or any other feeling you may be experiencing, and move on.
Forgiveness needs to be cultivated, you forgive others for yourself as well. It is a process of making peace with life. Always remember that you heal when you forgive even without receiving an apology, you do it for yourself, for your peace of mind.
Dina Relojo is the social media manager of Psychreg. She is a teacher from the Philippines.