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Try Forgiveness… Just for the Health of It


Try Forgiveness… Just for the Health of It


by Rita Milios, The Mind Mentor



            To err is human. To forgive is divine.


            It's also healthier.


            There is growing evidence that a non-forgiving, angry, resentful attitude can do more than ruin your day. It can adversely affect your overall health. A study in the January, 2008 issue of Mayo Clinic Health Source reported that subjects who held onto a non-forgiving attitude experienced increased blood pressure and muscle tension and had less sense of self-control. An earlier study (Duke University Medical Center 2003) linked anger and resentment to chronic pain and depression.


            In the studies, forgiveness was measured as a willingness to deliberately give up anger and resentment toward an offender or an offending situation and to replace these emotions with understanding and compassion. Evidence shows that people who have this attitude and who can “just let it go,” are often those whose overall resilience is greater, which allows them to bounce back from setbacks more readily.


            Choosing forgiveness does not require relinquishing the right to hold another accountable. It simply means not letting a situation hold you hostage emotionally For those who want to move toward more forgiveness and resilience, here are some suggestions:


    - Recognize your angry, hostile, non-forgiving attitude.

    - Get into the habit of refusing to finish hostile, angry thoughts - force yourself to

       stop mid-sentence and change the thought.

    - Learn to really listen and try to see the other person's point of view.

    - Realize that most people's intentions are good.

    - Attempt to see all situations as opportunities for growth and learning.

    - Don’t sweat the small stuff.

    - Remember that forgiving is good for YOU.



Rita Milios, The Mind Mentor, is a psychotherapist and author from Kissimmee  FL.


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