Why is it so difficult to forgive? On the surface, forgiving appears to be an uncomplicated act. All it takes is a few simple words. “I forgive you,” or “I forgive myself.”
But it’s not always easy, is it? Too often, people refuse to forgive. They hold a grudge for many years, and some even take a grudge to their grave.
What if I told you a lack of forgiveness could impede your healing? Or, that it can work against your efforts to live a healthier life? Would you think again about your hesitation to forgive?
Forgiveness can be a power catalyst that propels your healing. Or it can block your efforts to heal whatever ails you.
Why is that? What is it about the simple act of forgiveness and why does it have so much power over the outcome of our health?
The Energy Of Forgiveness
When somebody does something awful towards you, it hurts. You harbor all kinds of destructive emotions. You become focused on negative thoughts and carry them around with you all day. Even as you lay your head down on your pillow at night, your mind continues to race.
These negative emotions can interfere with your physical health. They soon manifest themselves as aches-and-pains, insomnia, irritability, addictions, and depression.
Not the most desirable manifestations, are they?
Your body has a unique way of tucking negative emotions away in your body which is a good thing. It’s your coping mechanism to deal with unfortunate events. It allows you to compartmentalize those terrible events so you can move on and be happy again.
So even if you let time heal, your hurt feelings can still have an adverse impact on your physical health. That extreme event may still be with you, even though your mind has moved on.
Think of a negative emotion like a black cloud. Picture those dark clouds of anger in your liver, of sadness in your lungs, or fear in your kidneys.
No matter what the negative emotion is, it can wreak havoc and become a burden on your body. From that point on that part of your body no longer works at peak efficiency. Meanwhile, it impedes the function of other parts within your system.
Who wants that?
What Do The Studies Show?
The effects of the act of forgiveness on our health have been extensively studied for many years. To varying extents, they all have the same results.
The act of forgiveness is good for our health!
One study showed older people who readily forgave others reported they experienced fewer symptoms than people who were unwilling or unable to forgive others.
Another study published in Psychological Science concluded unforgiving thoughts prompted unpleasant emotions, and significantly higher heart rates and blood pressure. It also found forgiving thoughts prompted a greater perceived control and comparatively lower physiological stress responses.
It suggested that the higher stress response by people who are unwilling or cannot forgive may erode their health but forgiving responses may enhance their health.
And finally, an interesting study even examined how the brain is affected by forgiveness by using Magnetic Resonance Imaging, (MRI) technology.
They observed the brain activity of people who practiced the act of forgiveness vs. those not being able to forgive. The results indicated there were advantages to overall physiological health when people practiced forgiveness.
And the data goes on and on. There have been many studies on the physiological effects of forgiveness. The conclusions are all very similar! There is a definite benefit to your health if you practice forgiveness!
How To Practice Forgiveness
There are three main types of forgiveness.
- Forgiving Yourself
- Forgiving Others
- Forgiving God, The Universe, or a Higher Source
When you practice forgiveness, the goal is to release any negative energy within you.
If someone has hurt you, it may be difficult to forgive that person. But without forgiveness, that person continues to have a hold on you and your emotions. By not forgiving them, your thoughts stay destructive towards that person. This negativity is destructive energy since it vibrates at a lower frequency which can zap your energy.
Emotions can affect your health. You can learn more here:How Emotions Can Get In The Way Of Your Healing
By practicing the act of forgiveness, you free yourself from the grip of negative emotions and the impact it can have on your health.
It’s such a mighty deed to forgive others, but it’s also therapeutic to forgive yourself. When you refuse to forgive yourself, you harbor feelings of bitterness, guilt, shame, anger, and regret. Again, low vibrational emotions that can cause disruption in the energy in your body.
If you are suffering from a health condition or disease, perhaps you should look deep within yourself. Do you practice the act of forgiveness? If not, it may contribute to your current situation.
If you forgive God, others and yourself, it can help jumpstart your healing efforts. You don’t have to accept that person back into your life; you need to forgive them. Forgiveness unshackles you from the grip of destructive energy attached to you.
Even when you are not sick, practicing forgiveness is still crucial. By disrupting your energy it makes it harder to stay healthy.
I want to help you. Since forgiving is so important, I’d like to share a forgiveness prayer I found from noted author and healer, Ernesto Ortiz. He claims the healing power of this prayer is limitless.
Repeating this prayer at the end of the day helps remove the tidbits of negativity which build up inside you during the course of a day.
According to Mr. Ortiz, working with this prayer for 33 days has most times, healed pain and separation feelings.
“Forgiveness is the key that opens the floodgates of love and compassion.”
In truth, love, and healing,
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Forgiveness by God, Forgiveness of Others, and Psychological Well-Being in Late Life
Granting forgiveness or harboring grudges: implications for emotion, physiology, and health