TRANSFORMING LIVES
  FORGIVING
 
          
            FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS, AS WE FORGIVE OUR DEBTORS.
                                                                       
                                                                      
To be forgiven is a greater compliment than to be loved. F orgiving displays greatness and not weakness. It is the best gift you can give to someone.
 
Forgiveness has been preached and practiced for many years by different faiths and religions. However a systematic study on the emotional, physical and scientific benefits of forgiving has started only recently.
 
What is Forgiveness?
 
Forgiving is no longer just religious or divine. It is a social process by which our thoughts, sentiments, feelings, state of mind and behavior become positive towards someone who has physically or mentally wronged us. Forgiving is a social, physical and mental change based on choice of his or her own free will.
 
According to International Forgiveness Institute. It is a response to an injustice
 
The process of forgiveness
 
 Forgiveness is nothing but change. Transform your heart with compassion when you want to forgive somebody.  When you fill your heart with compassion all your anger against the wrongdoer vanishes. Start thinking about the positive things in the wrongdoer. Think about the experiences when others have forgiven you. Think about the wrongdoers family, his weaknesses and the situation or circumstances under which he has wronged. Try to see the wrong from different angles i.e. from a third persons eyes, from the wrongdoers eyes e.t.c. The bad feeling in you about him decreases. This helps you to start thinking about forgiving. Talking or meeting the wrongdoer will further soften your sentiments and will ultimately make you committed to forgive the wrongdoer.   
 
 
Emotional, Physical and Scientific benefits of forgiving   
 
                                                       
            A- Emotional Benefits
 
1.Kills stress and anger
 
When you forgive others it produces a positive wave in your brain. These waves can kill the stress and anger stored in your mind. The stored stress and anger, if not exhumed out can bring emotional disorders, which can be fatal. This process gives you peace of mind and takes you forward in life.
 
 
2.Saves you from depression
 
An unforgiving heart is filled with hatred and longs for revenge. Scientists say that holding on to hatred and desire for revenge can cause serious physiological problems, which can lead to depression and anxiety.                                                           
     
    B - Physical Benefits
 
Physical benefits of forgiving include:
 
1.Reduction in chronic pain & cardiovascular problems by 60%
2.Reduction in violent behavior by 40%
3.Reduction in abnormal heart rates and blood pressure by 20%
4.Saves you from premature death
5.Helps you live longer with good health   
                                                            
    C - Scientific benefits
 
1.Develops Positive relationship in families
 
Studies have proved that the act of forgiving has helped to have quality relationships in families between husband, wife and children. It helps to restore and recover communications that facilitate positive change & reconciliation. The process of forgiving in families makes relationships stronger. Teach our children how to be understanding and forgiving it will keep our families united.
 
2.Heals the sick
 
An unforgiving mind can cause a nger and resentment, which can aggravate the condition of patients. Anger can be a major complicating factor in the treatment of persistent pain, and also negatively impact patients’ interactions with family members, co-workers, and health care providers.
Forgiveness clearly is associated with a variety of health benefits. It has positive effect on health among people who are sick and hospitalized. There is significant and direct relationship between forgiveness and health. Studies prove that medicines and forgiveness together accounts for the greatest amount of healings among human beings. Forgiveness adds an additional 10.2% to 12.2% cure to the healing given by medicines.
 
3.Develops social competence among children
 
Forgiving habit among children increases social competence and reduces aggression. Children who are more forgiving are more popular with their peers, have fewer social problems, and are less aggressive.
 
4.Develops quality relationships
 
Studies prove that forgiveness positively impacts individuals' psychological state and the quality of individuals' relationships. Interpersonal forgiveness  helps in restoring damaged relationships. Hostility from one relationship affects our ability to get along with others. Social networks comprising of friends, neighbors and family helps in developing quality relationships.
           
5.Improves your Leadership and decision making skills
 
The weak can never forgive.  Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong  - Mahatma Gandhi. 
To initiate forgiveness we need power, power comes from authority and authority in turn comes from leadership and right decisions. Leadership and Decision-making is nothing but making the right Judgments. In the process of forgiving we need to judge both others and ourselves. The point is that forgiving others will automatically inculcate in you Leadership and decision-making qualities.
 
6.Increases your appetite
 
Unforgiveness chews you up inside and spoils your appetite. This resentment and loss of appetite is so damaging, not only to your health, but also to your nervous system. Forgiving others will loosen your nervous system and increase your appetite.
 
7.Reduces Fear and Anxiety
 
Over 10% of people around the world suffer from fear and anxiety due to an unforgiving heart. Forgiveness provides an extremely effective cure for these problems as it provides the opposite of fear and anxiety, peace and relaxation.
 
8.Creates a healthy society to live-in
 
Without forgiveness we would be living in a society with constantly angry and hurting people. The atmosphere itself will be of hate and revenge. Social thinkers say that man can live happily in a society where people regret, repent, restitute and rehabilitate.
 
Forgiving is grace and is usually well remembered . Try practicing it, for  God forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.                         
   
(The writer Vinod Kuriakose can be contacted at vinodkuriakose@gmail.com  ) 
 
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