How forgiveness improves health

Forgiveness is an important component of emotional recovery following interpersonal trauma.

Forgiveness is associated with mental, relational, physical, and spiritual health. Learning to forgive those who hurt you can significantly improve psychological well-being and physical health.

Research has shown that anger declines after forgiveness and that failure to forgive leaves people hostile and ruminating about their pain and trauma. Forgiveness involves letting go and moving on, and also developing empathy, compassion and understanding toward the person who hurt you. Forgiveness reduces chronic stress, which is bad for our health. Forgiveness is linked to reduced anxiety and depression, as well as fewer fewer medical conditions and lower mortality rate. Forgiveness alleviates toxic anger, which is associated with medical and emotional problems. Forgiveness also builds self-esteem, leading to more positive perceptions and feelings about oneself.

Additional studies have demonstrated the beneficial effects of forgiveness in adult romantic relationships. Forgiveness increases marital satisfaction, emotional closeness, and commitment to the relationship. A study of divorced mothers found that women who forgave their ex-husbands were less anxious and depressed and became better parents than those who could not forgive. Other research has shown that people who scored high on forgiveness scales had significantly lower levels of blood pressure, anxiety, depression, and higher self-esteem. There are four phases to forgiveness: becoming aware of your negative feelings about the offense, making a conscious decision to forgive, understanding the offending person, and creating empathy and compassion for him or her.

You will be healthier and feel better.

Evergreen Psychotherapy Center is ready to help you reach your goals to have healthier relationships. Please contact us.

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