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The benefits of forgiving – an enriching human experience

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You can choose to live or you can choose to exist. Living and existing might share similar meanings as words but they are two sides of a pole when it comes to human experience. The search for a wholesome, fulfilling and peaceful life seems perennial. Each one of us is bombarded with hindrances and impediments that result in despair, sorrow and discontent. Some of us are blessed with the ability to use them as rungs on a ladder to accomplish our set goals while many of us simply wallow in them. The wounds and injuries especially assume significance when caused by a loved one. Bitterness, resentment and antipathy are fuelled to a great extent by our hurt ego and heart.

The grudge we hold builds up to epic proportions and revenge and retribution seems the most logical step to quell this acrimony. Will animosity and payback bring down your discontent and give you the peace of mind that you so crave? The answer is simple and one which you already know – No, but there is something else that can give you what you seek – Forgiveness and letting go.

Here is what forgiveness offers you, physically and emotionally.

Physical benefits

If you think, resentment causes only mental agony, you couldn't have been more wrong! Anger and grudges cause more physical harm than you can imagine. Letting go and forgiving on the other hands brings in a range of physical benefits.

  • Saves your heart: Forgiveness saves your heart and that is not a figurative statement! Holding on to grudges increases your heart rate which in turn increases the chances of it giving way. Forgiveness maintains the rate and ensures it does not get worked up.
  • Lowers BP: High blood pressure is one of the major reasons for stroke in people young and old. Forgiveness helps diminish chances of stroke by significantly lowering your blood pressure levels.
  • Feel less pain: The more anger you hold within you, the more likely you are to feel pain. Like it or not, pressure travels to every part of the body increasing chances of everything from ulcer to back pain. As many studies indicate, physical pain, aside of injuries, in most cases is a direct result of mental agonies. Forgive and alleviate the pain you feel physically.
  • Sleep well and eat well: Anger affects sleep; lack of sleep affects not only your physical energy levels but also your professional and personal goals. Holding grudges can also cause you to binge or starve leading to unnecessary transformations in your physical attributes. Forgiveness lets you get back to normal and improves your feeling of health and well-being.

Psychological and Emotional benefits

Change is never easy. Transformation is never simple, yet we attempt that to survive in this world. Why should the choice of forgiveness be any different?

  • Purge anxiety and depression: You are but given one life, why live it in anxiety and depression when the alternative is so alluring. Forgiveness lets you purge stress, anxiety and despair and gives the necessary pep to move on.
  • Enhances relationships: The grudge you have against one soul might transfer to others if not controlled soon, blotting existing relationships and causing irreparable damages. Forgiving helps you hold on to faith and trust thus aiding in forging better bonds with your loved ones.
  • Drives you away from destructive behavior: It is very easy to get caught in a destructive pattern wrought with wrong-decisions when depression dictates your life. Forgiveness frees you from this web and gives you a better perspective.

When your mind asks you to choose between love and forgiveness or hatred and resentment, do yourself a favor and let your heart choose the former. Forgiveness needs more courage than anger and is also more difficult to achieve. Holding a grudge seems like a much easier option. Ask yourself if the anguish and torture you are putting your mind and heart through is really worth it. More often then than not, the answer would be no. Why then hold on to something that chains your feet and cuts your wings? It is time to let go and fly!

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