Negative emotions which are inevitable in one human’s life can be very damaging, they do not only occupy our thoughts but as well as burden our whole body. Therefore, you must find a way how to eliminate them from your life. According to scientists feelings like resentfulness, regret or constant replaying some of the bad memories in the head can cause devastating long-term disease.
So, you must wonder what the solution is. The answer is simple: forgiveness.
Some people may consider it as weakness, a sign of submission, or a flaw, but it is in fact a trait of strong personalities.
This is what the Greater Good Science Center maintains, quoting:“psychologists generally define forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.”
However, forgiveness is a process, and because of that there is a distinction between decisional forgiveness and emotional forgiveness.
Here is the scientific explanation of this difference:
“Decisional forgiveness is a behavioral intention to resist an unforgiving stance and to respond differently toward a transgressor. Emotional forgiveness is the replacement of negative unforgiving emotions with positive other-oriented emotions. Emotional forgiveness involves psycho-physiological changes, and it has more direct health and well-being consequences.”
According to a study released in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine confirmed that a forgiving personality was related to better subjective well-being and psychological well-being.
Likewise, other studies have discovered a connection between forgiveness and improved physical symptoms, good sleep, decreased fatigue, less used medications, and fewer somatic complaints.
Your heart health will also be improved as according to a study released in the American Journal of Cardiology, forgiveness has cardio-protective profile; on the other hand anger and other negative emotions have cardio-toxic effects.
This is what the researchers have concluded: “These findings suggest that interventions aimed at decreasing anger while increasing forgiveness may be clinically relevant.”
Further on, researchers from Hope College’s Psychology Department performed a study on the effects of negative emotions in which 35 female and 36 male persons participated. These participants had to go through hurtful memories and grudges, and their facial muscle tension, blood pressure, heart rate and sweat gland activity were evaluated by the team of researchers. Later on, they asked participants to imagine giving forgiveness, and it was discovered that “forgiving thoughts prompted greater perceived control and comparatively lower physiological stress responses.”
It was revealed that negative emotions elevated stress and stimulated sweat production, while forgiveness relaxed their facial muscles, and reduced blood pressure.
The conclusion was: “…chronic unforgiving responses may erode health whereas forgiving responses may enhance it.”
According to Dr. Steven Standiford, chief of surgery at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America maintains that not being able to forgive is classified as a disease in medical books. He states that not being able to forgive people who have hurt your feelings can lead to illness.
In addition to this, he claims:
“It’s important to treat emotional wounds or disorders because they really can hinder someone’s reactions to the treatments, even someone’s willingness to pursue treatment”.
Forgiveness can prevent cancer as according to Dr. Michael Barry, author of the book The Forgiveness Project, 61% of cancer patients have forgiveness issues.
He clarifies this in his book:
“Harboring these negative emotions, these anger and hatred, create a state of chronic anxiety. Chronic anxiety very predictably produces excess adrenaline and cortisol, which deplete the production of natural killer cells, which is your body’s foot soldier in the fight against cancer.”
Because of that, we all need to learn how to let go all of the painful memories, and acknowledge the fact that we are all human beings who can make mistakes during our life span. Leave all the negative emotions in the past because there is their place and move on and enjoy every next day in health and well-being.