~Guest post by Maryana Marusyak~
To forgive is to learn to overcome disappointment … and yet, it is such a difficult thing to do. It is difficult because we assume that when we forgive, we are condoning whatever bad deed has been done to us. Being lied to, betrayed and being used are just some of those incidents that make us become angry-so, we simply do not think that an escape from the dreadful experiences comes when we finally bring ourselves to forgive.
In reality, holding onto disappointment is treated the same by our body and brain as does stress. Where you aware of that? Having a grudge deep inside us releases all those same chemicals that it would during stress: adrenaline and cortisol. During this stressful state, blood flows away from the areas of the brain that make you think critically and creatively.
I’m sure you’ve felt that tightness of your belly when you’ve thought of something, or someone that you do not like. Guess what? Through these repetitive physical experiences we actually train our body to become used to a constant state of stress. When stress becomes a normally experienced state of being-our immune system stops functioning well and we become more prone to being sick=( Ultimately, not forgiving and holding a grudge leads to potential health concerns.
So what does it mean to forgive? By forgiving you are making a conscious decision to stop being bothered by a situation that has occurred in the past. You are deciding to remove yourself from the experience. Not to say that you are condoning the individual for whatever bad deed they did to you, but instead, you are allowing yourself to be emotionally freed from the unpleasant event.
Forgiveness can be learned through practice. It’s been scientifically proven that individuals with a generous and kind disposition are overall happier and healthier individuals. After all, the more relaxed your body is the easier it is to have positive thoughts flow through your mind.
Positive thinking takes effort and commitment but once you’ve mastered it you would have freedom from your negative thoughts. Before responding to something negative that has been done to you, take a breath and count to 10-really. Within this 10 second pause you can rethink the event and look at it from a learning and positive perspective. Finally, meditation can do wonders to your well-being. Spend a few minutes to sit in a quiet place where you are comfortable and safe, turn on some relaxing music and spend some time in your happy place.
If you’ve never meditated before and need some guidance you may use the short meditation piece that Alycia has put together for you right here:
Also, attempt to wake-up in the morning on a positive note. As soon as you’re up think about the positive events that will occur today (even if it’s something as simple as having a great cup of coffee!).