You probably know many famous quotes about the power of forgiveness already, but do you know there are extensive studies showing the healing powers that forgiveness brings? Forgiveness is more than the absence of feeling regarding some wrong we think we’ve endured. It’s the deliberate and conscious personal work acknowledging our feelings and then putting those feelings into the greater context of life that ultimately makes us stronger, happier and more compassionate people.
There are obvious and practical correlations between the inability to forgive with stress, anger and anxiety. The Journal of American College of Cardiology reported that this kind of anger causes a higher risk of heart disease. The Journal of Health Psychology released a report in 2016 that showed participants less willing to forgive were more likely to have mental health issues. Johns Hopkins Hospital revealed that in their studies the act of forgiveness helped lower cholesterol and pain, and even helped increase sleep. All these studies point to the importance of learning to forgive for our overall health.
To be surprised that learning to forgive is one of the great lessons in life would be to disregard all the great teachings on forgiveness as well as modern science. It’s simply going to happen in everyone’s life that there will be actions and words that will need to be forgiven. And no one is spared that lesson. In fact, learning to forgive is the kind of work on oneself that brings inner strength, peace and physical health.