My wife showed me this article from the January issue of Harvard Women's Health Watch and I thought I would pass it along.
This article explores the scientific and medical perspective of forgiveness rather than a religious or philosophical point of view. According to the article, forgiving those who hurt you can improve your mental and physical well-being. The article also provides an exercise to help you learn how to forgive.
"Forgiving means letting go of anger or resentment, sometimes accompanied by greater empathy for the point of view of the person who has harmed us." The article asserts that forgiving is a skill you can hone, and that granting forgiveness may actually do more for you than the person you forgive. The article discusses the following five positive health effects of forgiving that have been scientifically studied:
I realize it is a bit off-topic, but thought it would make for an interesting discussion. Music reflects life and if life can be made better then this may help.
- Reduced stress. Researchers found that mentally nursing a grudge puts your body through the same strains as a major stressful event: Muscles tense, blood pressure rises, and sweating increases.
- Better heart health. One study found a link between forgiving someone for a betrayal and improvements in blood pressure and heart rate, and a decreased workload for the heart.
- Stronger relationships. A 2004 study showed that those who were able to forgive their spouses and feel benevolent toward them resolved conflicts more effectively.
- Reduced pain. A small study on people with chronic back pain found that those who practiced meditation focusing on converting anger to compassion felt less pain and anxiety than those who received regular care.
- Greater happiness. When you forgive someone, you make yourself—rather than the person who hurt you—responsible for your happiness. One survey showed that people who talk about forgiveness during psychotherapy sessions experience greater improvements than those who don’t. "