Why Is Forgiveness Beneficial to Your Health?

Why Is Forgiveness Beneficial to Your Health?

. Forgiveness is an important attribute to have, but sometimes it can be difficult to achieve. Forgiveness fosters feelings of anger, hostility, and stress, which are well documented to impact mental and physical health. Being able to forgive helps you manage your stress levels, improves your immune system, and lowers your blood pressure. In the long-term, forgiveness may also improve your relationship with your partner. Forgiveness affects the parasympathetic nervous system, which slows breathing and heart rate.

 

Forgiveness can be helpful to the mind and body because it brings the sympathetic and parasypathetic nervous systems more in balance. People who have high cortisol levels over time had poorer memory and performed worse on cognitive tests. Cortisol can also disrupt everything from the sexual and reproductive system to your ability to fight illness. Forgiving others is associated with a decreased risk for all-cause mortality. Forgiveness can help you ruminate less, which can lead to anger disorders, depression, anxiety, or other feelings.

 

"Rumination is the universal bad boy of mental health," Dr. John Worthington says. Ruminating over and over in the mind leads to emotional problems like depression, he says.