12 Things that Happy People DO Differently – #12 Happy People Learn to Forgive

12 Things that Happy People Do Differently

#12 Happy People Learn to Forgive

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong”

Mahatma Gandhi

“Forgiveness is recognized as different from other processes, such as condoning (failing to see the action as wrong and in need of forgiveness), excusing (not holding the person or group responsible for the action), pardoning (granted only by a representative of society, such as a judge), and forgetting (removing awareness of the offense from consciousness; to forgive is more than just not thinking about the offense” Source: APA http://www.apa.org/international/resources/forgiveness.pdf )

Forgiveness is a very different process from condoning, excusing, pardoning and forgetting.

Forgiveness is a process that involves a change in emotion and attitude regarding an offender and the experience. According to Psychological Research Forgiveness can…

  • lead to an improved emotional state
  • improve physical and mental health by lowering physiological stress responses and improving physical well-being
  • restore a victim’s sense of personal power

How Start the Forgiveness Process

The main focus of forgiveness is to work on relinquishing anger as a psychological defense, which will mean that you may start to fully experience the emotional pain associated with your experience. In this process, you will need to find new meaning in what happened, making deeper sense out of the experience. How have you grown in a positive way? What have you done to “survive”? This does not mean that what happened to you is condoned, but you are choosing to view it in a different way that highlights the strengths that you have developed. This allows for the possibility of healthy emotional regulation and a re-examination of your self as more than just a victim. You have strength.

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