How Forgiveness Can Change Your Life
Some of life’s challenges will involve great physical strength or a quick wit, but others can really test your entire life. Holding a grudge against someone, becoming bitter after a traumatic experience, or simply refusing to show mercy to someone who’s wronged you can damage every aspect of your life, from the people you surround yourself with to your thought process. Fortunately, forgiveness can produce miraculous results.
Have you ever noticed how a negative confrontation with someone can leave you reeling? In the quiet moments when you’re alone with your thoughts it’s hard not to find yourself thinking about it. Sometimes this can go on for several days, and it eventually affects your daily life, throwing off your sleeping pattern or spending nights trying to get it out of your mind. When you realize you have to be around this person, you get a sinking feeling in your stomach.
Coping is difficult. Everyone finds a different way to focus on something else. Some people work toward goals and go back to school to pursue something that will help society. When working towards goals, this can make progress a bigger challenge. Whether you’re pursuing an online criminal justice degree or working towards a promotion, holding a grudge will distract your mental focus. You will relive the negative experience day after day, but in the end it will only hurt you. It is best to let it go, and recent studies have shown that when you make the effort to forgive, it becomes easier to forget about it and move on with your life. It might be difficult, but by simply trying to make the effort, you’ll see it is possible.
A surprising fact about holding back forgiveness is that it does more damage to you than the person you’re upset with. Unfortunately, it can affect your physical health. Anger, and holding a grudge, can affect heart health, fat-producing cortisol levels, and anxiety, and this has even been linked to chronic back pain. In addition, you may lose more sleep over it and find yourself indulging in unhealthy habits such as smoking, drinking, or overeating to cope with the negative feelings. By extending forgiveness, you can focus your energy on increasing your health by living a happy life.
Holding back forgiveness not only damages the relationship with the person you aren’t forgiving, but it can seriously affect your other relationships as well. It could easily become harder for you to trust other people as you nurse the wounds from the person who hurt you. It could also make you more judgmental of the shortcomings of others, especially those that remind you of your situation. Forgiving someone who has wronged you will help you show grace and kindness to the other people in your life.
Offering forgiveness to those who have wronged you will set you on the way to a healthier life. From lighter thoughts to a stronger body, you only stand to benefit from letting go of the pain. Simply trying to forgive will set you on the way to a healthier future.