One of the most tormenting feelings in this world is keeping an untold story or grudge inside you. Some people may have hurt you a thousand times, and for a thousand times, you chose to forgive and forget – or not. If you have truly forgiven someone, you wouldn’t be haunted by the pain at night causing you to be sleepless and all distressed. Forgiving is starting all over with a clean slate.
It is easy to say you have forgiven those who have wronged you but have you really? If you still feel pain and hate with the thought of that person, then you haven’t forgiven yet, and holding a grudge against someone affects your overall wellbeing. It affects your mental, emotional and eventually your physical health. As Ryan M. Niemiec Psy.D. explains, “The strength of forgiveness has been shown to have a powerful buffering effect on stress. Those who are highly forgiving of themselves and others have a far less chance of having a mental illness.”
Why You Should Never Hold A Grudge Against Someone
- “Sleep helps your brain work properly. While you’re sleeping, your brain processes complex stimuli.” Staci Lee Schnell, MS, CS, LMFT said. But when you think too much, it causes you hours of sleep. Sometimes, your mind wanders, and unintentionally it all comes back to you. For some reason, even though you are lying still on your bed, you feel all fired up and ready to explode. It gets worse when you find yourself cursing!
- It makes you miss out on events just because you’re trying to avoid a person. For instance, your company is holding a party, and everyone will be there. You wanted to come too, but when you learned that the person who hurt you would be there, you call it off.
- It reduces your appetite or the other way around – you eat up (stress eating)! When you are angry with someone, chances are your mind is focused on the feeling and the person. You won’t notice it, but you might miss a meal just because you are too overwhelmed with what you feel inside, and of course, the opposite could happen also. You eat more than you should because your mind is busy entertaining negative thoughts.
Holding a grudge or anger against someone is not healthy. It causes a massive amount of stress which damages our cells resulting in a variety of illnesses such as cardiovascular diseases.
If Forgiving Is A Bit Challenging For You, Try These Simple Steps:
- Meditate in the morning and use an affirmation like the famous words of Mahatma Gandhi, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” Play it in your head as often as you could or whenever negative thoughts come in. Jennifer L. Taitz, PsyD said, “I’m pretty blown away by the idea of Loving-Kindness Meditation. Meaning, instead of drowning in sadness, purposefully spending a few minutes wishing people well (from you to a mentor to a stranger to a person you know struggling) can actually lead to productive actions and increase your joy.”
- Distance yourself for a while if the person who hurt you is unavoidable like for instance your husband. It gives you air to breathe and time to think things over. Sometimes, it is difficult to forgive and forget when all you see is the face of the person who hurt you. Take a vacation and use it as a time to reflect.
- It is vital that the person who hurt you knows that he had done so, because if not all the things he does wrong, no matter how insignificant, adds fuel to the fire. Nicely confront him, and tell him how you feel. Supposedly, he would ask for your forgiveness, and right then and there, grab the opportunity to forgive.
Holding a grudge against someone can shorten your life. It affects you in so many ways than you think – mentally, emotionally, and physically. Yes, forgiveness is easier said than done but think of it as a favor for yourself. Do it for your own good, and not anyone else’s. In the end, it’s only you, not them, who suffers in silence.