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Forgive NOW or you’ll pay for it LATER

GrudgeAre you one who finds it hard to forgive someone that has done you wrong?  OR are you one who holds grudges for weeks, months, or even years? If you answered YES to either of the questions LISTEN UP – According to WebMD, Holding a grudge can be bad for your health: 

·         Charlotte vanOyen Witvliet, PhD, lead researcher in the study believes that failure to forgive can weaken a person’s health.

·         When people think about their offenders in unforgiving ways, they tend to experience stronger negative emotions and greater [physiological] stress responses,” Charlotte vanOyen Witvliet, PhD,

·         “When I treated patients with cardiovascular disease, I was struck by how many were bitter, angry, and depressed,” Joseph Neumann, PhD.

·         Subjects imagining incidents where they didn’t forgive someone perspired more and had faster heart rates, higher blood pressures, and more distressed facial gestures than forgivers did.

·         Others are finding that bitterness affects the healing rates of cardiovascular patients and their overall sense of wellness

Not only does holding a grudge take a toll on your health but it also can affect your mood.  One can display the following behaviors: anger, resentment, rage, bitterness, revenge, regret, sorrow, shame, remorse, or disappointment.  

Say goodbye to grudges and hello to Forgiveness.  Forgiveness is “a decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge. The act that hurt or offended you might always remain a part of your life, but forgiveness can lessen its grip on you and help you focus on other, positive parts of your life. Forgiveness can even lead to feelings of understanding, empathy and compassion for the one who hurt you”.  Forgiveness can release you from bondage.  When you forgive not only are you able to possibly live a care-free life, but the one whom hurt you can do the same. 

For additional information on how to create a better you by forgiveness check out Dr. LaVena Wilkin’s talk on Forgiveness: The Gift You Give Yourself.

By Yvette Watson Jenkins           

Graduate Student, University of Baltimore – Negotiation and Conflict Management Program

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