Did you know that when you learn to forgive and forget, you actually raise your happiness levels?
In fact science has shown that when you forgive you lower your blood pressure, lower the cortisol levels in your body (the stress hormone), you increase your pain threshold and also reduce depression.
Why is it then that we are the masters of holding a grudge?
When I first started to study the science of forgiveness I wrote a list of every person that I was still carrying any old resentments towards. I jotted down any old grudges, any bitterness or feelings of being wronged. I’ll be honest; I was surprised at just how long my list was!
On my list I had old boyfriends, colleagues, bosses, friends and even my parents!
As I scanned my list of reasons reflecting on why I was still carrying a grudge I had to acknowledge that I wasn’t exactly Snow White, and that I had played a part in some of the situations.
So I began the process of letting go. I knew that there was absolutely no value in holding onto any of it. I also knew that letting go wasn’t about saying I was condoning some of the behaviours of people; I was simply setting myself free.
By the end of the process I felt so much lighter free and a great deal more loving.
I know that learning to forgive and forget is easier said than done at times. Our ego always wants to be in the right and isn’t a fan of acknowledging its part in something.
To enable you to forgive, forget and move on, I recommend writing a list of EVERY grudge and resentment you are holding on to no matter how big or small. Then use these 3 simple powerful techniques to begin the process of letting go…
1. Write a letter to the person. Sometimes we find it hard to forgive and forget because we feel we haven’t got ‘closure’. We hold on to the bitterness because there are things we haven’t said or expressed. Start by writing a letter to the person. Write it with the intention you are going to send it. Get every little thing off your chest about how they treated you or made you feel. When you are finished, imagine that the person is in front of you and read your letter out loud to them. When you are done, either rip up the letter and put it in the bin or burn it.
2. Ho’oponopono. Ho’oponopono is the ancient Hawaiian practice of forgiveness. Think about one of the people on your list and let any residual emotion come up. Then place your hand on your heart and say ‘I forgive you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I love you’. Keep saying the mantra until you feel that you have released every last bit of negative emotion you were holding about them and have found a sense of peace.
3. EFT (emotional freedom technique). EFT is an incredible tapping technique to release any negative emotion. If you are new to EFT you can check out one of the EFT videos and learn how to use EFT on yourself to release the resentment, bitterness or grudge you are still holding onto towards a person.