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The Benefit of Forgiveness: 5 helpful reasons why letting go can actually boost happiness

You may have times when you’ve been hurt or feel angry toward someone close to you. They may have said something that devastated you or performed some behavior without thinking that triggered feelings of frustration and anger. And yet you still hope to include them in your life.

The wisest thing to do is to forgive whenever you have these experiences.

But forgiving often proves to be more challenging than most people think... or will admit to.

Read the following 5 points to discover how forgiveness can actually benefit the forgiver and boost joy:

1. Choosing to forgive sets the forgiver free. There’s a saying that “Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” This statement rings true because when we choose not to forgive, we're not hurting the individual we refuse to forgive, we're hurting ourselves. Think about it. Often times our offenders will have gone on with their lives, not giving a second thought to the pain they've caused... while we still find ourselves stewing in a pot of anger and drowning in a sea of a unpleasant, unresolved emotions. We must ask ourselves, "is that how I want to spend the rest of my life... imprisoned in anger... hurting?" Making the decision to forgive our offender doesn't excuse their behavior, but it releases us from having to live with the poison of it.

2. Forgiving affords us the ability to drop the e

motional baggage associated with the anger and pain. Whenever we say, “I forgive you” to someone, we are consciously making the decision to release the grudge (the negative feelings) we've been holding against them. Dropping that weight frees us to move forward and to live our lives in peace... free of the heaviness of carrying the emotional baggage of bitterness. ** Carrying excess emotional baggage is something to be avoided if at all possible. **

3. Nursing grudges and unforgiveness takes up too much mental space and emotional energy. As we feed the animal of unforgiveness, we'll soon find that what was once a house pet has become a wild best... haunting our thoughts and dictating our behavior. We may eventually find ourselves trying to avoid places and events where they will be, or feeling awkward or uncomfortable at the mentioning of their name. Nursed grudges grow. And the more you hold on to them, the more time and emotional energy it takes to keep them going. Free your mind and your life of the ongoing grudges that become emotional vampires and mental squatters, so that you can experience the peace you desire. 4. Forgiveness comes with a number of proven health benefits. Studies have found that the act of forgiveness can lower the risk of heart attack, reduce blood pressure, improve cholesterol, improve sleep, reduce physical pain, and decrease stress induced anxiety and depression.


5. Forgiveness increases compassion towards others and yourself. There is a saying that "everybody has a story." When we take a moment and step outside of our pain, to consider the "why" of their behavior, we may be surprised to see that their behavior may be "learned behavior" passed down from generation to generation within family dynamics. We may also find unhealthy behavior patterns based on hurt, fear, insecurity, or just plain ignorance. Now this, by no means, excuses their behavior, but it can help to provide some insight into the "why" which may help us (in some small way) to begin the journey of letting it go. Compassion also helps us to see beyond what we are shown, learning not only how to extend grace to others, but also to ourselves when we make mistakes.

So, be encouraged. Know that the power of forgiveness is within you. Use it for your own greater happiness.

Having trouble letting go, CLICK HERE, to schedule a free 15 minute consultation with someone who can help.

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