Anger, Hurt, Bitterness and other such negative emotions have a real, physical impact on our own bodies and minds (read our previous post). We find it hard to let go of these feelings because of the social stereotypes and conditioning around the concept of Forgiveness: Strong people fight it out! Forgiving means you’re a loser -or that you’re the one who made the mistake! Forgiveness is weakness!
Remember anger and frustration increase the stress hormone cortisol and this contributes to aging. Research finds that forgiveness reduces cortisol response – whenpeople in the study perceived their transgressor as being more agreeable—i.e. more willing to seek forgiveness—they reported lower cortisol response. Forgiveness was associated with the use of fewer medications and less alcohol, as well as lower blood pressure and heart rate.
Forgiveness is easier said than done: the first step in learning to forgive is to LET GO of the Anger and Hurt. You don’t accept the wrong done against you, but you give up the right to strike back and hurt the offender. It’s for YOUR BENEFIT! Forgiveness helps and protects your body and mind, so you do it first for you – not for the other person. A conscious act of forgiveness can help you move on with your work and life.
Forgiveness doesn’t minimize or justify the wrong, or make things as they were, but it does help you deal with the hurt and other feelings more effectively, and bring healing. Think about times when you’ve needed to be forgiven and when you’ve received forgiveness and when you’ve not. This might help put your own anger in perspective and allow humility to seep in slowly.
Sometimes going through a forgiveness process is much easier when you have someone to talk to. I was working with a client whom I felt was leading me on, not being authentic to the process, not respecting the relationship and so on…This led me to look at this client with anger and frustration – mostly because I felt I was not doing a great job, and my pride was wounded. My Coaching Supervisor helped me process the situation and see how much it had become about me. She led me through an exercise in which I was encouraged to forgive my client. At the end of the session, I felt so light and positive again. I looked at the client from his perspective and was able to pick up the relationship without the negativity of my old baggage.
Working with a coach or coaching supervisor can help you talk about negative feelings in a safe and confidential space and help you move to a better place. It can reduce the impact of these feelings on you body and mind. And, help you feel much better with yourself!
Connect with us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to experience how coaching or coaching supervision can benefit you. We’d be happy to do two sessions at no cost!
Data adapted from: http://www.menshealth.com/best-life/how-holding-grudge-hurts-your-health