Last Updated on July 20, 2021 by The Health Master
Forgiveness: 9 ways to enhance your Mental well-being
Forgiveness is a gift we give to ourselves. Sometimes it can be difficult to forgive from the heart. Emotions such as ego, pride, self-respect, feeling attacked or cornered, and lack of trust come in the way. Yet, we must find a way to forgive. It will enhance our mental well-being.
This means undertaking considerable self-work. You need to learn how to deal with pain. Choosing to accept and let go is important. It will make everything worth it in the end.
The person who has hurt you may not even know of the damage they have caused you. But your health deteriorates if you hold on to resentment for too long. You too have been forgiven by others for the mistakes you made in the past.
Then why is it difficult to extend the same to others? Today, science has proved that not forgiving can have long-term health manifestations as it creates stress hormones and suppresses the immune system.
Dr Michael Barry, a pastor and author of the book The Forgiveness Project, stated startling facts on the correlation between the inability to forgive and cancer, which have been observed in our day-to-day consults too.
He said, “Of all cancer patients, 61 percent have forgiveness issues and of those, more than half are severe.” Furthermore, keeping emotions bottled up leads to chronic anxiety.
So, what do we do? Is there a way of making the process of forgiveness easy and straightforward?
Yes, there is.
– Sit in a comfortable place and write down the names of people you want to forgive but aren’t able to right now. Besides their name, write how they hurt you. Was it a betrayal, did they deceive you, did they cause humiliation? As memories come back, try to process them objectively. Acknowledge that you will need to cultivate the strength to forgive.
– Now close your eyes and centre yourself with the help of deep-breathing.
– Bring each person to the centre of your mind and visualise the act of actively forgiving them.
– Do it as though they are in front of you. Pour your heart out. Say everything you wanted to. Tell them exactly why you are hurt and go through the heavy emotion again.
– After that, let them know that you want to forgive them despite everything that happened. Tell them you choose to move on. Say it aloud. This terrific illusion exercise will get registered in your subconscious mind when you do it regularly.
– Now seal this process with five words—I am happy, healthy, abundant, loved, and safe. Then while visualising, say it for them: May you be happy, may you be healthy, may you be abundant, may you be loved, may you be safe.
– Now open your eyes, go back to your list and write against their name that you have forgiven them completely.
– Tear the paper and throw it away.
– Use the same sequence of events for anyone you want to forgive.
It may not be easy at first but you will realise how cathartic this is.
By Luke Coutinho
The author is a Mumbai-based Holistic Lifestyle Coach—Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine