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Let It Go: Your Health Depends On It

By Tiffany Thomas
Posted On Jun 28, 2016
Let It Go: Your Health Depends On It

It’s one thing when a complete stranger oversteps their boundaries and offends you, but it’s another story when someone who you actually considered to be a friend, betrays you.

Even though we know that life is filled with twists and turns, and people will inevitably hurt us, it’s not always easy to face the tragedy once it happens. Most of us are faced with situations that we either choose to ruminate over, or forgive. But just like many things in life, forgiveness is easier said than done, right? I mean, are you really ready to forgive your unfaithful partner, neglectful parents, or that insensitive driver who cut you off this morning?

Well whether you want to or not, studies have proven that forgiveness actually has numerous health benefits. Forgiveness is that big F word we all love to hate, and this is so because forgiveness is often confused with a variety of things. The challenge with forgiveness is that many people feel like once they forgive, it means that they will be “condoning what the person did to them” or “letting them off the hook” when they don’t even seem deserving of it. Don’t get me wrong, forgiveness isn’t easy, but it’s certainly attainable.

The biggest challenge of them all is recognizing that forgiveness is not for the person in the wrong, but it’s always for you. You see, the act of harboring resentment, anger, and grudges in our hearts against a person that has wronged us is twice as hard as just letting it go.

We can steal our own joy by fostering negativity in our lives to the point where it begins to affect our mental and physical health. Here are a few benefits you can reap from learning to forgive:

  • It keeps your heart healthy

Forgiveness is good for your heart. Literally. Research has shown that people who hold grudges for extended periods of time actually have higher heart rates. On the flip side, people who are more empathetic and eager to forgive, have lower heart rates. Unforgiveness can also cause high blood pressure, so do your heart some good and just let it go.

  • It lowers stress levels

This is a no-brainer. If you continuously hold unforgivness in your heart, your stress levels will be at an all-time high. One of the major benefits of forgiveness is that it lowers the level of cortisol, which in turn will cause you to stress less and live more.

  • Healthier Relationships

Having the willingness to forgive will ultimately restore broken relationships in a way that could potentially make it even better than before. If you’re able to look past imperfections and mistakes and give the person a fresh start, then your relationships will be able to blossom and be more wholesome.

  • Extends your life span

Holding grudges could actually be shaving years off your life. Research has also proven that people who are more willing to forgive actually live longer lives. This is so because unforgiveness can really cause you to focus more on negative issues as opposed to the beauty in life all around you.

Remember: the next time someone rubs you the wrong way, consider the value and healing power of forgiveness and make a conscious decision to move past grudges, towards of place of peace.

Cover Photo Credit: Shutterstock