Health Benefits of Forgiveness: 6 Ways to Help Find Forgiveness for Personal Wellness by Dr. Bradley Nelson
While you might think forgiveness benefits the person or people being forgiven, it actually has surprisingly positive effects on the person doing the forgiving, too. Studies have shown that forgiving others produces strong mental and physical health benefits for the one who forgives. Forgiveness has been shown to decrease depression, anxiety, anger and the symptoms of PTSD. Additionally, it can lead to higher self-esteem, better sleep quality, lower blood pressure and stronger relationships with our loved ones.
For National Forgiveness Week (June 18 - 24, 2023) and PTSD Awareness Month, here are six ways to find forgiveness:
- Acknowledge your emotions: Forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to pretend that something didn’t happen or act like it didn’t hurt you! In fact, recognizing that it did hurt you is actually a positive step toward forgiveness.
- Practice empathy: An empathetic mind is a forgiving mind! If you can take time to understand where the person or people who have wronged you are coming from, it’s likely you’ll find a new perspective on the situation.
- Forgive yourself: Sometimes our anger or frustration with ourselves can impact our ability to forgive others. Soften your heart toward yourself, and have compassion for your own mistakes. We’re all human, and being more gentle and understanding of yourself can lead to forgiveness for others.
- Release trapped emotions and imbalances: Sometimes, even when we mentally move on from past trauma, our body and spirit hold on to that injury. Using the Emotion Code and Body Code to release trapped energies can have profound impacts on our ability to forgive!
- Remember that forgiveness is internal: Forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to reconcile with someone who has hurt you. Sometimes, people who have deeply injured us are not meant to continue having a large presence in our lives, and it can be positive to set boundaries with those people. Forgiveness is something we do internally, to release our anger and resentment.
- Give yourself time to truly forgive: Forgiveness often takes more than simply saying, “I forgive you.” It can take time and effort. Don’t rush through the internal work that allows you to truly forgive and move through your emotions!
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