It’s easy to be told to “forgive and forget” – it’s what the Bible says to do.
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
But it’s not just a biblical command, it can also unlock some surprising health benefits. According to The Atlantic:
It helps you physically
It helps make life seem easier
In a study recently published in Social Psychological and Personality Science, 46 participants were divided into two groups: One set were asked to write about a time when someone wronged them and they forgave the person, and the other group was asked about a time when they did not forgive the offender. Afterward, all of the subjects were led outside to gaze upon a large hill. The “unforgiving” group thought the hill was about 5 degrees steeper than the forgiving group did. Then, all the participants were asked to jump up and down. The forgiving group jumped seven centimeters higher, on average.
Ok, so it’s really good to forgive, but if you need some help to make it happen, here’s a five step process called the “REACH” method of forgiveness:
- “Recall” the incident, including all the hurt.
- “Empathize” with the person who wronged you.
- Give them the “Altruistic gift” of forgiveness, maybe by recalling how good it felt to be forgiven by someone you yourself have wronged.
- Next, “Commit” yourself to forgive publicly by telling a friend or the person you’re forgiving.
- Finally, “Hold” onto forgiveness. Even when feelings of anger surface, remind yourself that you’ve already forgiven.