To Err Is Human

A grudge can cross more than your arms. Resentment has ill effects on your health, from causing depression to weakening your immune system. Recent studies even suggest that over time, cardiovascular health, chronic pain, and cancer could be attributed in part to negative emotions and thoughts. Let go with these tips:

Expel and burn. First, permit your bitterness over another’s transgressions: seethe, stew, even refuse pardon. Now breathe out. Write your feelings of pain and anger on paper — the tangible transfer of abstract thoughts can dissolve even years of bottled fury. Let absolution flow from your pen, leaving indignation and mercy on your pad. Then set the page ablaze.

Extract and bury. An unripe fruit will taste bitter until it’s matured — so will forgiveness attempted too soon. Give yourself time to muster the courage. Recognize that even the gravest wrongdoing can produce something good — whether it’s a lesson learned or a life touched. Then puree the past… throw away everything else that leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

Empathize. Attempt to stand in the shoes of the person who hurt you. They may fit better than you imagined. In fact, research shows that one of the strongest motivators for mercy starts with emotional understanding. That bodes well if you’re the one begging for forgiveness.

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