Forgiveness is now taking its place as an important issue in healthcare. Forgiveness research is relatively new, but it has grown exponentially over the past decade. The studies have shown that there is not just a psychology underlying forgiveness but a physiology as well.Forgiveness is good for one’s health! A society that cannot forgive loses its heart; a civilization devoid of forgiveness may eventually cease to exist.Studies have found that when giving the gift of forgiveness, altruistic motives hold greater benefits than do self-interested motives. [Source]

Failing or refusing to forgive can prevent you from doing and becoming all you could be. Carrying pain from the past into the present is debilitating. It can also saddle you with a variety of problems including:

  • Physical ailments and illnesses
  • Addictions and compulsive behaviors
  • Relationship problems
  • Job burnout
  • Negativity
  • Child abuse and/or domestic violence
  • Ineffective parenting
  • Lethargy and depression

(Simon, Sidney B., PhD, and Suzanne Simon. Forgiveness: How to Make Peace With Your Past and Get on With Your Life. p 43-44. MA:Grand Central Publishing, 1991.)

Studies show that people who forgive are happier and healthier than those who hold resentments. (Everett L. Worthington Jr., PhD, Campaign Director, A Campaign for Forgiveness research.

Holding a grudge (refusing to forgive) can lead to illnesses ranging from common colds to heart disease. Dr. Sandi Mann, a psychologist at the University of Central Lancashire, believes there is a strong link between your emotions and your immune system. Forgiveness works. Let the past be past—at last. (Kendall, R. T. Total Forgiveness. p 194-196. FL: Charisma House, 2007)

Nearly everyone has been hurt by the actions or words of another. Perhaps your mother criticized your parenting skills, your colleague sabotaged a project or your partner had an affair. These wounds can leave you with lasting feelings of anger, bitterness or even vengeance, If you don't practice forgiveness, you might be the one who pays most dearly. you can hold on to anger, resentment and thoughts of revenge—or embrace forgiveness and move forward. By embracing forgiveness, you can also embrace peace, hope, gratitude and joy. It can lead you down the path of physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. [Source]

Forgiveness is one of the trickiest power tools there is. In the long run, remember it’s not a question of whether someone deserves to be forgiven. You’re doing it for yourself. Forgiveness is simply the most energy-efficient option you face and the only one that will foster health and well-being. It frees you from the toxic, debilitating drain of holding a grudge. Don’t let villains live rent-free in your head. Forgiveness means that you’ve decided not to let the pain keep festering inside. Forgiveness is a powerful yet challenging tool that will support and honor you, even in the most extreme circumstances. (Childre, Doc, and Howard Martin. The Heartmath Solution. p 122-124. CA: HarperSanFrancisco, 1999)

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