Article taken from Psychologies Magazine – 13 JUNE 2014
In this month’s Mind Life Lab Experiment, Martha Roberts tells us why learning to forgive is good for us physically as well as mentally and emotionally.
Many of us find it hard to forgive people and move on when we feel we’ve been wronged. But studies show exercising forgiveness can improve both mental and physical health.
Try forgiving someone you are angry with or bear a grudge towards – experts say it can help you to live a longer, happier life.
Whether it’s a sibling, parent, partner or friend, we all remember being wronged by someone. For some, it can be even more extreme, such as being a victim of a crime. But experts say that being able to move on from negative feelings, and even forgiving the perpetrator, is beneficial to both physical and mental health. Seeking forgiveness helps, too. And it doesn’t just help the victim; it also helps people close to them.
Professor Loren Toussaint of Luther College, Iowa, has published papers linking forgiveness with higher functioning cardiovascular, hormonal and immune systems, showing those who embrace forgiveness tend to be physically healthier than those who don’t. His ‘Forgive to Live’ study* also showed those who exercise ‘conditional forgiveness’ (forgiving only if the person apologises or makes amends), tend to live shorter lives. Those who forgave unconditionally lived longer.
Try it out
If you are finding it difficult to forgive or feel stuck in the past, call Sophia to see how you can take action for a brighter future. Call on 07766 100783