Holding grudges increases your stress levels damaging your mental and physical health

Research on forgiveness has identified four areas in which health can be addressed which are, brain scans, hormones, peripheral physiology and self-report of health status.

Brain scans reported in recent medical journals have identified areas of the brain implicated with people who are both forgiving and unforgiving. Unforgiving attitude is highly identified with anger, which in turn has been linked with the decreasing of immune functioning.

Activity in the brain during expression of unforgiveness is consistent with brain activity during stress, anger and aggression, all symptoms of flight or fright response.

Mindfulness with its cultivation of moment-to-moment non-judgemental,( accepting of mental and emotional content) has been directly linked with reducing anger, stress and aggression .


Mindfulness meditation (by Dav Panesar)

Hormonal patterns in unforgiveness are consistently shown to be linked with hormonal patterns from negative emotions associated with stress.

Blood chemistry also reveals a similar link between unforgiveness and both stress and negative emotions.

Importantly, forgiving the self was positively linked with T-helpers to T-cytoxic cell ratio. T-helper cells are a type of white blood cell that plays an important role in creating and maximizing the capabilities of our immune system. T-cytotoxic cell are also a type of white blood cell which can inducing the death of tumor or cells infected with viruses or other pathogens or those that are otherwise damaged or dysfunctional, such as cancer cells. Emotions such as fogiveness and empathy stimiulate similar brain positive patterns and related functions.


Forgiveness (by Dav Panesar)

Ref:Berry JW, Worthington EL Jr. Forgiveness, relationship quality,stress while imagining relationship events, and physical and mental health. J Couns Psychol. 2001;48:447-455

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