The ability to forgive others and ourselves has been linked to increased overall health and wellness. Although forgiveness can be hard at times, it is important because forgiveness allows us to explore the themes of reconciliation, acceptance, accountability, human-connectedness, and commitment, thus often freeing us from the heaviness that hurtful events can have on our mental and physical well-being.
Forgiveness helps us gain control and peace over various situations. It isn’t about giving the others involved a “free pass,” more so, forgiveness involves us taking control of our feelings and emotions, which can be mentally and physically freeing. Furthermore, forgiveness has been linked to empathy and has shown that people who are generally more empathetic often have an easier time forgiving. Empathy is our ability to understand and share the feelings of others. Forgiveness doesn’t only apply to our ability to forgive others, but also to give ourselves forgiveness and grace for our mistakes. The ability to forgive ourselves has been found to decrease stress and increase overall well-being. So, how do we practice and achieve forgiveness?
- Know what forgiveness means and why it matters.
- Practice forgiveness by making a commitment to show kindness in small ways daily.
- Pin-point the source of your hurt Identify your part in in your hurt
- Acknowledge your emotions and feelings
- Practice empathy
- Practice mindfulness
- Practice gratefulness and gratitude for the good in your life
- Commit to making yourself feel better & remember that forgiveness is for you and your health!