"Opinion" The health benefits of forgiveness

Jennifer Bonn

Jen Bonn

When someone betrays, hurts, manipulates, or in any other way maligns us, forgiveness can be hard. We may need to consider though that carrying around all the negative feelings might affect us worse than the person who hurt us.

The article, Forgiveness: your health depends on it from www.hopkinsmedicine.org says, “Unresolved conflict can go deeper than you may realize-it may be affecting your physical health. Studies have found that the act of forgiveness can reap huge rewards for your health, lowering the risk of heart attack, improving cholesterol levels and sleep, and reducing pain, blood pressure, and levels of anxiety, depression, and stress.”

Being hurt, disappointed, and angry is an emotional burden. Forgiveness can calm stress levels and let you feel as if a burden has been lifted. Don’t worry about whether the person deserves your forgiveness or not, if you continue to carry negative feelings, you are the one who will continue to suffer.

Forgiving does not necessarily mean you are going to continue a relationship that is toxic for you, it only means you are going to let go of feelings that are not helpful in any way. If there are possibilities to forge a better relationship after forgiveness, then of course do it, but if not, move on and don’t allow that situation to weigh you down.

Forgiveness is sometimes something we have to work at. Dr. Randy Carmen writes, “Forgiveness is a teachable and learnable skill that can dramatically improve with practice over time.” You can work on being more comfortable with forgiveness by showing compassion in certain simple situations.

It often takes some time to heal before you can forgive, but there is a feeling of freedom when you can release the bondage of negative feelings.

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I am passionate about running, parenting, education, and self-help information. I enjoy writing articles that will offer readers the information needed to help them in some way. I recently retired from teaching French and Spanish for forty years. I run every day and have done all kinds of races from 5ks to ultra-marathons. I have three children and three grandchildren. I write for several magazines in my area, I am a contributor and in charge of the Pinterest board for a parenting magazine called Screamin Mamas, and I have a second book about to be released through Loving, Healing Press called 101 Tips to Ease Your Burdens.

Kennesaw, GA

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