Shake off anger with these 9 forgiving steps
THERE are ways to forgive the people around you who have caused you angst for any number of reasons, but do so can sometimes be hard without a helping hand to guide you.
University of California researchers suggest rather than getting bogged down in the stress of feeling hurt and angry, a person should consider turning to confronting that hurt and letting it go by the process of forgiveness.
Reducing the grip of anger and resentment can be an empowering act.
Some of the benefits of letting go can be:
- Stronger of emotional and physical well-being
- The relationships with the people around you will strengthen.
- Less anxiety, stress and hostility
- Lower blood pressure
- Fewer symptoms of depression
- Stronger immune system
- Improved heart health
- Higher self-esteem.
But how do you go about forgiving?
The team at the UC Greater Good Science Centre suggest using the following nine steps:
- 1. Know exactly how you feel about what happened and how to articulate the situation, then tell a few trusted people about your experience.
- 2. Make a commitment to yourself to feel better since forgiveness should be about you not anyone else.
- 3. Forgiveness doesn't necessarily mean reconciling with the person who upset you or condoning their actions. It's about seeking the peace and understanding that comes from blaming people less after they hurt you and taking those offences less personally.
- 4. Get the right perspective on what is happening. Recognise that your primary distress is coming from the hurt feelings, thoughts, and physical upset you are suffering now, not from what hurt you two minutes, or 10 years ago.
- 5. At the time you feel upset, practice stress management to soothe your body's fight or flight response. This could mean taking deep breaths, doing a mindful breathing exercise, taking a walk outside; whatever is most effective for you.
- 6. Give up expecting things from your life or from other people that they do not choose to give you. Remind yourself that you can hope for health, love, friendship, and prosperity, and work hard to get them. However, these are unenforceable rules: you will suffer when you demand that these things occur, since you don't have the power to make them happen.
- 7. Put your energy into looking for another way to get your positive goals met rather than through the experience that has hurt you.
- 8. Remember that a life well-lived is your best revenge. Instead of focusing on your wounded feelings, and thereby giving power over you to the person who caused you pain, look for the love, beauty, and kindness around you. Put more energy into appreciating what you have rather than attending to what you do not have.
- 9. Change the way you look at your past to remind yourself of your choice to forgive.
Defining your life by what is good in it, and not what is bad, can empower you towards a healthier, happier life.