Forgive Thy Neighbor in Four Easy Steps
We’ve mentioned that forgiveness is healthy, leading to improvements in blood pressure, depression, anxiety, stress and chronic pain. So let’s all run out and forgive everyone, and the world will be a much better place, right?
If only it were that simple.
You can’t just flip a switch and forgive someone. If you aren’t sure how to forgive, start with a small step to get you moving in the right direction. Redbook outlines four phases of forgiveness that you can follow in any order:
1. Admit you are hurt. Denying hurtful feelings only brings them out in other areas of your life.
2. Decide you’re ready to let go. Remind yourself forgiving doesn’t mean condoning or forgetting, just letting go of the anger and resentment.
3. See the issue from their side. Ask yourself why the person might have done what he or she did? Empathy can help you take things less personally.
4. Reflect on the silver lining. For many people, forgiveness changes their perspective on life for the better.