DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (CNN) — Few can say we’ve never been so angry with someone that we’re powerless to take away the pain they’ve caused us.
If the incident in question continues to haunt you and has a negative impact on your life, the word forgiveness may come into play, said psychologist Robert Enright, a pioneer in the field of forgiveness and professor of educational psychology at the University of Wisconsin. Madison.
“What recovery methods have you practiced, and if you’ve had more than one attempt at moving through grief, I suggest you try the possibility of forgiveness,” Enright asked.
“But it’s always a choice to forgive,” Enright told CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta on a recent episode of the Chasing Life podcast.
Enright, who has studied tolerance for nearly four decades and is one of the founders of the nonprofit International Institute for Tolerance, said a lot of evidence shows the approach has psychological benefits, including reducing anger, anxiety and depression. Forgiveness has positive effects on our health, including lower blood pressure, improved sleep, less inflammation caused by stress, and a strengthened immune system.
It’s not about forgiving and forgetting, it’s about forgiving and remembering, said Enright, who has worked with foreign governments and with rape and rape survivors, terminal cancer patients, incarcerated individuals and children in war-torn areas. “Remember in new ways, without resentment, without anger,” he said.
Of course, “this is easier said than done. To help people cultivate forgiveness consciously, Enright, a great book author, modeled the mechanism of forgiveness through the following steps to achieve it. At the end of this (process), he said, you are the healer.” “The more you practice tolerance, the better off you will be,” Enright noted, “and the better off you will be if you practice tolerance in the everyday situations of your family, your neighbors, and your community.”
He pointed out that when you practice tolerance in simple ways, you are actually building admiration and familiarity with him. When you face the hard things in life, you are more prepared because you know the path and you love it. “Path and forgiveness are part of your life,” he said.
Here are Enright’s top five tips:
Estimate the right time for endurance
How do you know when it’s time to forgive? This may be contrary to what you think. Enright explained, “If your anger is intense and persistent, and you’ve tried everything to get over it, you might consider forgiving those who wronged you. This can have negative consequences, such as intense anger, sadness, and confusion. Sometimes intense anger can last for months.” “Many, many, many years even.”
He pointed out that it is natural not to jump immediately to forgiveness, “Forgiveness occurs after we have had a chance to be angry, when our hearts are somewhat calm. Those who are ready, some will be, and many will not forgive, must freely choose the path of forgiveness.” It can be a deep recovery.
Understand what forgiveness is
Enright explained that forgiveness is not about justifying a wrong, but about making peace with the other person or giving up the pursuit of justice. “Forgiveness consists of being kind to those who have wronged you,” he explained.
This is done in three steps. The first is to develop new thought patterns over time about the person who hurt you.
Second, less negative feelings and more positive feelings about the person develop over time, which Enright noted “cannot be generated spontaneously.”
This is done by engaging in less negative and more positive behaviors toward the third person. This includes “doing no harm” to others, and using a kind word when speaking about the person in question in the presence of others.
Endurance takes time
Some people have the ability to forgive quickly and even spontaneously, but for most, Enright said, “the road to forgiveness is like a road you travel every day, and the process takes time.”
To begin this path, I recommend following four steps: examining the consequences of the person’s injustice, beginning to forgive them, expanding your understanding of their hidden suffering and intrinsic value, and finding new meaning in your suffering.
Build your endurance muscle
Don’t expect to become Mother Teresa overnight.
“Start with a small apology for those who hurt you a little, then build it up to forgive those who hurt you deeply,” Enright said.
He noted that when you practice forgiveness daily, you can reap physical benefits. “When you practice forgiveness, the brain’s amygdala reduces signals to the hypothalamus, reduces signals to the pituitary glands and reduces excess cortisol levels. This can lead to lower levels of anxiety and depression,” he explained.
Expect the unexpected
When you examine the practice of forgiveness, you may encounter conflicting results, Enright said. He added: “When you offer the positive qualities of kindness and love to those who have been wronged, you can experience positive qualities such as increased self-esteem, greater hope for the future and improved relationships.”
As you activate and strengthen different parts of your brain, Enright points out, practicing forgiveness can help you solve problems, make better decisions, develop empathy for others, and deepen your emotional recovery. “He who hurt you no longer has power over you because your heart is no longer affected by that person’s past actions,” he concluded.
“Award-winning beer geek. Extreme coffeeaholic. Introvert. Avid travel specialist. Hipster-friendly communicator.”