Common to all religions and psychology methodologies, forgiveness is central to managing stress, developing lasting primary and secondary relationships, and “growing” emotionally and maturing as an adult.
Anything that increases or exacerbates mental or emotional stress is a threat to our health; a lack of forgiveness is a primary stress-inducer. However, because it’s somewhat abstract and almost always needs to be a learned behavior, forgiveness is not something everyone embraces or commonly practices.
There are numerous books and articles on forgiveness.
It’s hard to forget, but forgiveness is something you do for yourself. - Azim Khamisa
Forgiveness and Stress: Holding onto a hurt or remaining angry sets the stress response in motion, which, if left uncorrected, can prove to be unhealthy.
The following is from www.forgivenessandhealth.com:
Bearing a grudge and refusing to forgive can cause chronic stress to the body, as well as the mind. Lack of forgiveness can create an avalanche of stress hormones.
- It increases production of cortisol and epinephrine, which leads to changes in heart rate and blood pressure.
- It raises levels of catecholamine and CD8, which suppresses the immune system, thus increasing the risk of viral infection.
- It leads to the release of histamines, which can trigger severe bronchoconstriction in people with asthma.
Chronic stress also…
- Alters insulin levels.
- Alters the acid concentration in the stomach.
- Causes plaque buildup in the arteries.
- Causes or intensifies aches and pains.
- Raises anxiety levels.
- Causes depression.
- Interferes with intimate and social relationships.
- Affects sleep and appetite.
- Affects job performance.