When someone has been wronged it’s hard to forgive and forget, so some people hold on to grudges. In order to lead a healthy life, it’s important to let go of this resentment. Holding on to grudges can increase your stress and negatively impact your well-being.
Grudges can do a lot of damage to your relationships—resentment in your personal and professional life can hurt your personal relationships and contaminate your work environment. Experts have also found that resentment can hurt your health. They report that holding a grudge can elevate your blood pressure, increase tension in your body, and make you feel less in control in your life. It can also increase your stress.
Resentment and forgiveness impact people differently. A Spain study from the University of the Basque Country found that parents forgive more than children. This is probably because the children in the study believed that “one forgives with time,” while parents were willing to forgive when the person showed “remorsefulness.” The study also found that women are better at forgiving than men because the decisive factor for forgiveness is empathy and “women have a greater empathetic capacity than males,” according to the researchers.
Let go of your grudges and reduce your stress with the Mindful tips listed below.
- Investigate the costs of your grudge. What is your grudge costing you? Take time to reflect on how grudges are personally impacting your life. Has it increased your anger or bitterness? Are you going out of your way to avoid this person? Are you becoming a more spiteful person?
- Find an alternative. Instead of holding on to your grudge clear the air with the other person. Talk it out with them or write them a letter. Open your heart and let gratitude replace your grudge. Look beyond the conflict point and appreciate other parts of your relationship with them.
- Appreciate the benefits of forgiveness. The researchers from the University of the Basque Country found that those who have forgiven the most in their lives can increase their capacity to forgive. So, the more you forgive the easier it gets.