The Healing Power of Forgiveness: Letting Go of Anger and Resentment
Forgiveness can be one of the most difficult acts to carry out – especially in situations where someone has wronged us and caused us emotional pain. Nevertheless, forgiving those who have hurt us is a crucial part of our emotional wellbeing and overall mental health. Here are some of the key benefits of forgiving those who have wronged us.
Letting Go of Negative Emotion
Harboring resentment and holding onto anger can be incredibly draining, something which can be seen in the way that simply dwelling on negative experiences takes up a huge portion of our mental energy. Forgiving someone can help us to look at the situation with a more mindful approach, and by doing so, free up our minds from this negative emotional energy.
Improved Physical and Mental Wellbeing
The process of forgiveness can be incredibly powerful for improving our overall wellbeing. Researchers have found that by letting go of resentment, we can reduce many of the symptoms associated with stress, including headaches, difficulty sleeping, and poor appetite.
It’s Not an Acceptance of Fault
Carrying out the act of forgiveness should never be confused with ‘permitting’ the wrong someone has done. Forgiveness is not about condoning the action and it certainly isn’t about forgetting what happened. Rather, it’s simply a way of letting go and moving on – but that doesn’t involve letting someone off the hook.
Learn From Mistakes
Through the process of forgiveness, we can pay witness to how peoples’ mistakes can teach us valuable lessons. It is helpful to take the experiences of being wronged and reflect on what we can learn from them. Doing this can help us to become wiser, more understanding and tolerant going forward.
Tips to Overcome Anger and Forgive:
- Think of the other person’s perspective. Try to understand why someone may have done something that hurt you. By viewing the situation from their perspective, we can start to find it within ourselves to forgive.
- Reframe the situation. Try to look at it from a more abstract perspective and study it as if it was a story rather than your own personal experience.
- Remember that people make mistakes. Everyone is human and it is natural to err and make mistakes. No one is perfect, and we should always remember that when trying to forgive someone.
Letting go of anger and resentment can be an incredibly therapeutic and liberating practice. Through forgiveness, we can learn to accept our own experiences, and in doing so, learn how to become more tolerant and understanding of others and their experiences.