Is good for your heart. One study from the Journal of Behavioural Medicine found forgiveness to be associated with lower heart rate and blood pressure as well as lowering stress levels. This can bring long term health benefits for your heart and overall health.
So how does one go about forgiving? How do we forgive? We seek to understand rather than judge.
The Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, defines forgivable as “something that you are able to forgive because you understand it.”
- Jesus Christ demonstrated his understanding of human fallibility when he said on the cross “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do”.
- Since humans are not omniscient, or infallible, mistakes are inevitable for all of us.
- When we understand and accept human fallibility, it becomes much easier to forgive the mistakes of others, and even our own.
- Make a conscious decision not to seek revenge or nurse a grudge, decide instead to forgive. This conversion of the heart is a critical stage toward forgiveness.
- Acknowledge that by forgiving you can experience inner healing and move on with life.
- Try to see things from the other persons perspective.
- Accept the pain you’ve experienced don't pass it on to others, including the person involved.
- Choose to extend goodwill and mercy toward the other party, wish for the well being of that person.
- Realistic acceptance of human fallibility brings the benefits of forgiveness.
A study conducted at University of Michigan Institute for Social Research found that forgiving others was linked with better self reported mental and physical health.
- Forgiveness powerfully changes our feelings about the past. Forgiveness does not change the past. But our feelings about the past can change.
- The amazing benefit of forgiveness is this - When we make peace with the past, forgiveness frees us. We are able to live a better, healthier, and happier life.
- The rewards and benefits of forgiveness are very practical. Compassionate understanding makes forgiveness possible.
1. Decrease in heart rate and blood pressure
2. Relief from stress (physical and emotional)
3. Decrease in medication
4. Improved sleep patterns and increased vitality
5. Decreased physical complaints such as tension headaches
6. Reduction in depressive symptoms
7. Deep healing and a greater sense of peace and well-being.
8. Better conflict management
9. An overall improvement in relationships
10. Increase in compassion, altruistic behaviours
The Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp?key=30558&dict=CALD
Harris, A.H, Luskin, F.M.., Benisovich, S.V., Standard, S., Bruning, J., Evans, S. and Thoresen, C. (2006) Effects of a group forgiveness intervention on forgiveness, perceived stress and trait anger: A randomized trial Journal of Clinical Psychology. 62(6) 715-733. http://www.learningtoforgive.com/researchfiles/research2.htm
Ascribe Higher Education News Service, 11-DEC-01. “Forgiveness and Health: University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research Study Shows How Link Changes with Age.” http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-7317066_ITM
Piper, Stephanie, 2000, “Let Bygones Be Bygones” http://pr.utk.edu/alumnus/alumarticle.asp?id=97
Jowett, Benjamin: translator. 1952. The Dialogues of Plato, “Protagoras”. Chicago, London, Toronto, Geneva, Sydney, Tokyo: Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc
The practise of Yoga, Yoga meditation and Yoga mantras help to increase good qualities like forgiveness, compassion, tolerance, kindness, peacefulness, as well as improving physical health, reducing stress, headaches, depression, anxiety and more.
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