How about starting the new year with some forgiveness?

How about starting the new year with some forgiveness?

Holding on to anger and resentment can eat away at you and your happiness.

In fact, I’d suggest happiness is not possible without the antidote to anger and resentment, forgiveness.

Just as happiness isn’t always easy, so too is forgiving difficult at times.

But it is possible; and it’s well worth the effort…

via the Ladders by Gustavo Razzetti

Let bygones be bygones. Forget and move on. Kiss and make up.

Forgiving is easier said than done.

Most people believe that forgiveness means condoning an event. But it’s not. Blame ties us to the past and makes our heart and mind smaller — both literally and metaphorically. Forgiving, on the other hand, means realizing that resentment and hatred add more pain.

Science shows that forgiving is good for your health.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting. It’s not accepting, justifying or overlooking an event either. It’s choosing to let go of resentment or the need for revenge — we eliminate the suffering, not the wrongdoing. The offender might not deserve your pardon, but you deserve to be at peace.

When you forgive, you set yourself free.

Forgiving is hard, but it’s healthy

“Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.” — Paul Boese

There’s a causal relationship between forgiveness and your health, according to science.

Unforgiveness causes us additional harm. When we don’t forgive, we release all the chemicals of a stress response.

You can’t change the past. There’s nothing you can do to remove the harm others might have caused you. However, not forgiving damages our mood — we see our lives through a lens of vengeance, hostility, resentment, anger, and sadness.

Forgiveness was traditionally seen as a religious ideal; science has turned it into a skill that everyone can (and should) develop. From 1998 to 2005 the number of empirical studies on the topic have increased from 58 to 950. There’s been a lot of progress understanding the science behind forgiveness.

Holding a serious grudge raises our blood pressure and increases our chances of a heart attack. Unforgiveness intensifies mental problems, such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorders.

A fMRI study by Italian researcher, Dr. Pietro Pietrini, showed that anger and vengeance inhibited rational thinking. Conversely, the tasks involved in the process of forgiveness activate the areas of our brain linked to problem-solving, morality, empathy, and cognitive control of emotions.

Forgiving is not easy — the need for taking revenge is hardwired in our system. In the past, that’s how we prevented other people from causing us harm. Revenge activates the same brain area than our desire for chocolate or sex — that’s why it tastes sweet.

However, forgiveness is equally innate — reconciling after a fight is something most mammals do, not just humans. Reconciliation has an upside too. Research by the Stanford Forgiveness Project shows that forgiving elevates our mood and increases optimism.

You can choose between instant gratification or long-term healthier living…

…keep reading the full & original article HERE