Still upset with your boss for not including you in an important meeting? Still annoyed at your neighbor for bringing baby back ribs to your vegetarian potluck? Your back may be suffering too! Researchers at Duke University Medical Center found that people who practice forgiveness experienced fewer feelings of anger, resentment, depression—and fewer aches and pains. “Our emotions, muscle tension, and thoughts can directly influence the strength of our pain signals,” explains researcher James W. Carson, Ph.D.
Grudges are not only bad for us physically, they don’t do much for us emotionally either. They hurt us way more than they hurt the person we are angry with. Start the process of giving up a grudge by setting an intention to do so. Encourage even the smallest feelings of forgiveness, and replace negative thoughts with reasons to let go. Ask yourself: How does it help me to hold onto this anger? Chances are you will come up short of a good answer.
We want to hear from you! What happened when you tried replacing anger and resentment with forgiveness? Share your responses to this weekly discussion.
10/15/2013 03:35:25 am
Anger, grudges, and hatred are something that we should try to avoid as much as humanly possible. Forgiving is what we are called to do, not just as Christians, but as imperfect humans. Forgiving people is something we absolutely MUST do - not for them, but for us. It is the only way to free ourselves from the control over us that we give others when we are angry, hold a grudge, or hate them. To best describe the effects,( and I DO like the physical implications you call attention to), I see it as shooting yourself in the head and expecting someone else to die.
10/15/2013 09:00:44 am
An impressive description of how you replace negative thoughts with reasons to let go. Thanks, Merry.
10/17/2013 05:04:46 am
Thanks for this great descrpition and reminder on forgiveness, Merry.
Lynn, glad to help. I have learned a lot thru my 66 years, and forgiveness was a hard lesson at times. I am far enough past the ex husbands who lied to me, cheated on me, stole from me, abused me, and left me for other women. I can see the blessing of knowing what forgiving these deepest of injustices can be. I have been blessed with two amazing guys in my life too, who have taught me the gift of what a real marriage is and can be. One only lived a few months after we married, but he taught me a lot. The other was a gift I never expected and is one of the reasons I can forgive as well as I do now. Even the bad things in life can be a teaching moment and a lesson that is good to learn. We have to learn from it though.
10/15/2013 05:43:42 am
It's worked for over 2,000 years. The simple guidance in the Lord's Prayer says it all:
10/15/2013 09:08:28 am
Thank you for this, Paddy -- a reminder of how deep forgiveness goes. The challenge for many of us is practicing real life, real time. And we still remember with vivid detail your story of being given your groceries on your first day in New Zealand -- without your wallet and with only your honor as credit. Great to hear from you across so many miles.
10/15/2013 08:31:10 am
I found this interesting to reflect on as there are always going to be people you are more or less naturally drawn to in your relationships at work. A good reminder that you may need to sometimes put more effort in for people you are less inclined to, to keep things balanced in your work relationships. This also helps avoid forming work cliques which can be quite destructive.
10/15/2013 08:36:29 am
Wonderful lesson for the week. Thank you to everyone on this thread.
10/15/2013 09:18:53 am
Thank you, Ava. We also have learned from these replies.
10/15/2013 09:14:50 am
Thanks Andrew: Delighted that the Communication Capsules are helping to keep the course content "bubbling away." You are the second Kiwi to post today! What fun being in touch this way.
10/15/2013 10:15:42 am
"Setting intention" is sometimes "acting as if" for me. I may not feel the least bit like forgiving or letting go of some perceived injustice or harm, but I generally recognize it's not doing me any good to hold onto it.
10/16/2013 02:26:09 am
Thank you for this, Fabienne. Really appreciate your personal detailing of your own action steps around forgiveness. Beginning with "as if" is a relief -- means we don't have to at first "feel" forgiving in order to start the process of forgiveness. Then the act of writing forgiveness -- and in some cases actually delivering those messages -- is a way to move forward -- while we try to remember that what we experience as unkind, disrespectful acts could have nothing to do with us. Thanks for this.
10/16/2013 06:57:54 am
Also welcome to all of you who have been in touch through Facebook and Twitter.
10/18/2013 04:13:04 am
You have all inspired me. Thanks.
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