The Scientific Benefits of Forgiveness You Should Know

Forgiveness has a real impact on our well-being. And it's backed by science. Find out more.

Thrive Global invites voices from many spheres to share their perspectives on our Community platform. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and opinions expressed by Community contributors do not reflect the opinions of Thrive Global or its employees. More information on our Community guidelines is available here.

The importance of forgiveness has long been highlighted by the wise people of the world.

But did you know that science also backs forgiveness as a critical step that any person can take to create better health and overall happiness?

In this post, I’d like to share important findings of how forgiveness impacts our bodies and minds.

You’ll learn about the benefits of forgiveness and why you should practice it in your life. 

Scientific reasons to practice forgiveness

There are numerous studies indicating that practicing forgiveness creates powerful benefits for the person doing the forgiving. Here are some of the key findings and benefits created when you let go of resentment and negative emotions towards people who hurt you. 

Reduce stress

Thoughts about anger, resentment, and ill will towards others increase the presence of cortisol in one’s body. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone when it’s produced in our body for prolonged periods, it’s known to create ill health including heart issues.

Whereas, letting go of a grudge reduces the presence of the stress hormone in your body. People who practice forgiveness cope better with stressful situations and events and have better mental health. Not only that, there’s the physiological effect of making you feel more relaxed which leads to better physical health. 

Strengthen your immunity

Deep and long-lasting resentment towards another person can affect our bodily systems. Letting go of anger allows muscles to relax, breathe deeper, take in more oxygen, and build immunity.

It’s critical to be aware that you might hold a grudge against someone in the recent or far past.  Letting go of such feelings will help you stay productive, grow personally, and experience general happiness.

Develop self-esteem

The act of forgiving someone is not for the faint-hearted. It’s easier to hold on to negative thoughts than it is to practice empathy, compassion, and acceptance that you can’t control everything in life. 

But when you are able to truly forgive another person, it requires tremendous personal strength and thought. Forgiving others means processing and owning your own experiences. From this position, you can develop tremendous self-confidence that will help you face future issues and move towards new projects. 

One of the lesser-known problems with holding on to ill will is that it prevents you from achieving all you can. But when you forgive, you free yourself to change jobs, start a business, start a new relationship, and do much more. 

Build stronger relationships

Forgiveness plays an important role in strengthening and maintaining relationships. This is true whether we’re talking about professional relationships with your colleagues at work, with a business partner, or with a loved one.

People who hold on to anger towards the other person in the relationship will experience greater friction.

Whereas someone who practices empathy and forgiveness will find it easier to create better relationships as they forgive and move past mistakes.

This does not mean that interpersonal problems should be swept under the rug. Forgiveness is not about condoning or forgetting negative actions. But it is about replacing powerful negative feelings with feelings of care. Towards yourself primarily and others too. 

Forgiveness, along with other important actions, plays an important role in healthy and long-lasting relationships.  

Use journaling and expressive content writing as ways to process unhealthy feelings. As you work towards letting go of past events, you’ll build stronger relationships with the people around you. 

Conclusion

The concept of forgiveness has been around since the dawn of humankind. Spiritual leaders, elders, and wise folk from time immemorial have talked about the importance of letting go of negative feelings.

Today, research backs up the importance of forgiveness. There is a strong link between how we feel towards others and our own physical and mental health.

The practice of forgiveness can transform your life. You can grow to forge new relationships,  travel, succeed in your career, and even launch a successful business when you let go of negative feelings that can consume your energy.

Now that you know about the benefits of forgiveness, put it into practice and see your life change.

    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...

    The Power and Meaning of Forgiveness with Dr. Everett Worthington
    Community//

    The Power and Meaning of Forgiveness with Dr. Everett Worthington

    by Richard Sergay, Tavia Gilbert
    Community//

    Forgiveness

    by Lucille Zimmerman
    Martin Polanco
    Community//

    Forgiveness is Beneficial for Better Mental Health – Useful Insights by Martin Polanco

    by Martin Polanco
    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.