Authored by: Chris Bereshnyi, Family Therapist
As July 7th is Global Forgiveness Day, I would like to talk about the benefits of forgiving. Along with other acts, forgiveness definitely falls into the category of “easier said than done.” However, there are many benefits associated with the act.
According to the Mayo Clinic, forgiving can lead to healthier relationships, greater spiritual and psychological well-being, less anxiety/stress/hostility, lower blood pressure, fewer symptoms of depression, stronger immune system, improved heart health, and higher self-esteem.
Furthermore, letting go of resentment and thoughts of revenge can lead to understanding, and having empathy for the one who hurt you. Most people don’t set out to intentionally hurt others, but everyone has hurt someone at some point during their lifetime.When we think about the times we have hurt others, it can help us to understand those who hurt us. This can decrease the pain, and make forgiveness easier.
According to an article found at John Hopkins Medicine, “engaging in the act of forgiveness can be easier if you let go expectations and empathize with the other person”. So consider forgiving those who have wronged you, as your health and emotional well-being may depend on it.