Why Learn How to Forgive? The Importance of Practicing Forgiveness
Health is not just an external journey. To be truly healthy, you must dedicate time to turning inwards. In a traditional sense, the word healing simply means to return to wholeness. Sometimes the most magical way to return to wholeness is to tap into the spiritual side of health. We can start this journey to wellness by practicing forgiveness. You can create your unique forgiveness practice in order to distance yourself from feelings of rage and resentment in order to cleanse yourself emotionally and spiritually, which, in turn, affects you physically.
Benefits of Forgiveness
The goal of a forgiveness practice is to help you express your negative emotions and release any anger or resentment that you’re holding onto. Some benefits of forgiveness include:
- lower levels of depression
- less anxiety
- reduced hostility
- less nicotine dependence and substance abuse
- increased positive emotions
- higher satisfaction with life
- increased hope
- more social support
- fewer health symptoms
Ultimately, forgiveness liberates us from the vicious circle of obsessing on the negative emotions that can overwhelm us. It also allows us to overcome resentment in a positive way and improve our health, our relationships, and our lives.
Practicing Forgiveness for Ourselves and Others
We are all in the process of evolving and growing. In this process of being human, we have been hurt by others, but if we look at things fairly, it is also likely that we have incidentally hurt others, too. To examine this deeper, you might ask yourself questions like:
- Who have I not forgiven?
- Who do I need to receive forgiveness from?
- Where have I done things inappropriately because I didn’t know any better at that time in my life?
- Why have I called in this injury or illness?
Truthfully, there aren’t always clear answers to these questions, and that is okay. The value isn’t in the answers. It’s in the act of contemplation. There are many simple forgiveness practices that you could integrate into your life, but learning which steps to take as we learn how to forgive takes practice.