It's natural to feel angry when you've been hurt, but holding a grudge? That's no good. As they say, it's like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. But this is more than a metaphor; a grudge can have potent physical effects. A study published in the journal Social Psychological & Personality Science found that grudge-holders who focused on their negative feelings couldn't perform tasks as well as participants who had forgiven their wrongdoers.
Instead of seeing forgiveness as letting someone "off the hook," see it as freeing yourself. Tune your inner radar to the possible positive in the situation. To start, pick one person who hurt you whom you haven't forgiven and ask yourself what you've gained by not doing so. Are you happier? Freer? More at peace? We're guessing not. You don't need an apology from that person, either. Recognize that forgiving isn't conditional -- it's your decision to let go of a heavy weight so that you can lighten your inner load.
Read more on forgiveness.
--Posted by Lindsay Holmes
Learn more useful information about stress and your health! Order meQuilibrium's new book, meQuilibrium: 14 Days to Cooler, Calmer, and Happier, co-authored by meQuilibrium CEO Jan Bruce, Adam Perlman, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, and Andrew Shatté, Ph.D., Chief Science Officer.