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Forgiveness: Food for Health & Happiness

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Forgiveness: Food for Health & Happiness

My common sense says that the anger, resentment and blame that many people hold on to, often for years, account for a lot of health problems, and learning how to forgive could prove to be curative and preventative.

“Forgiving and releasing old hurts from your system is like taking a mental and emotional bath,” says HeartMath founder and stress researcher Doc Childre. “Notice how people bathe their bodies on a regular basis, yet they will store negative, toxic junk in their mental and emotional natures for years without a cleanup.”

Negative emotions, such as anger, resentment and blame, can cause stress to build up in the body; where there is excessive stress, there is the potential for all sorts of physical, mental and emotional problems. Most notably, elevated stress levels can impair the body’s immune system, putting you at risk for heart disease, chronic pain and depression, among many other debilitating conditions

Man and Women Holding HandsA Philadelphia-based nonprofit believes the failure to forgive, what it calls “unforgiveness,” is a major problem in the world today. “We believe that unforgiveness is one of the most destructive problems of our day,” the organization, Release!, states on its website, “Unforgiveness can ruin our relationships, rob us of our happiness, and even impact our physical health. Unfortunately, unforgiveness is also one of the problems that is most likely to be ignored and dismissed.

“It is a problem, however, that people have the power to solve, by learning to forgive,” Doc Childre said, stressing that, “it is not something you can learn overnight.”

I have found in my life that to forgive, people need to dislodge their judgments, even before they fully understand why things happened. But most people want to understand why someone “wronged” them before they forgive. It’s a Catch-22 situation. This is what makes forgiveness so difficult and why people so often fail at it. After a while it seems easier to live in a state of pout, disdain, or resentment than to try the forgiveness process again.

Girl with FlowersBut we can’t approach forgiveness as some sort of obligation. Forgiveness as an act of duty is not effective. It can leave you feeling as if you’ve done some good, but can mask over the resentment, rather than release it. Telling yourself, “I know I should forgive,” is not the same as forgiving. If there is no genuine feeling behind it, then your forgiveness lacks the sincere heart intent and commitment to release someone cleanly at mental, emotional, and cellular levels.

Nor can we approach forgiveness with the attitude of doing someone a favor. It’s important to remember that you’re the one who comes out the most by releasing the emotional baggage. Forgiveness upgrades your mental, emotional and physical well-being by reducing the neurochemicals that drain and debilitate your system.

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” ~ Mark Twain

The following exercise created by Doc Childre can help you discover a deeper level of your heart power, where feelings such as compassion, tolerance, understanding and forgiveness reside.

Coming Up – Forgiveness Exercise

For more tools and techniques, Sign Up for the Free Institute of HeartMath Newsletter.  You will also receive access
to our free subscriber downloads to PDFs, MP4 and audio programs, and receive latest scientific research.


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Sara, from the HeartMath Institute

Sara Childre is President and CEO of the non-profit Institute of HeartMath. Since 1991, Sara has helped oversee and develop HeartMath trainings, educational products and scientific programs. She was appointed vice president and CFO of the institute in 1992, then president and CEO in 1998.


+ add your own
10:10PM PDT on Sep 1, 2013


3:31AM PDT on Aug 31, 2013

very nice Thank You

10:01AM PDT on Jul 28, 2013


7:48AM PDT on Jul 16, 2013

I agree: ... we can’t approach forgiveness as some sort of obligation. Forgiveness as an act of duty is not effective.

Wounds take time to heal no matter if the wounds are physical or emotional. Love yourself first and tend to the wounds. Then, once the healing has taken place, you will naturally forgive.

8:48PM PDT on Jul 14, 2013


6:08AM PDT on Jul 12, 2013

Thanks for this article.

11:01PM PDT on Jul 8, 2013


5:57PM PDT on Jul 6, 2013

Forgiving is difficult, but I have learned to place everything concerning everyone in the hands of the CREATOR and let HIM take care of the consequences. Revenge is HIS, not mine. When I look back on the hurtful things people have said and done to me, it only makes me stronger.

Thanks for sharing.....

5:10AM PDT on Jul 6, 2013

When you Forgive, You in no way change the past - But you sure do change the future

5:12AM PDT on Jul 5, 2013

"Forgive us our debts as (to the same degree) we forgive our debtors."

Make it legal. Go to Creator and ask that all debts owed to you by anyone who ever has hurt you, past, present or future be forgiven completely and they will never have to pay, in any way for any harm real or imagined done to you past, present or future,

I did it several years ago and I keep up to date on forgiveness. Unforgiveness isn't worth the karma. Pain may still remain, Pain is pain NOT unforgiveness. Make it a legal arrangement and the emotions are only emotions,

Free others from karmic debt to you and walk karma free.

Changed my life and the lives of others with whom I shared this karma loop hole,

Of course, we still have lessons to learn but there's a lot of difference between learning your lesson and paying karma to the last penny.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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