You surely experience negative emotions from time to time, but when you learn about their impact on our health, you will definitely try to find a way to combat them.

Apparently, whenever you feel resentful, regretful, or replay some bad memories in the head, the body suffers equally to your mind. Therefore, focusing on such negative emotions causes devastating long-term disease.

The solution? — Forgiveness.

Forgiveness is not a sign of submission, weakness, or a flaw. Actually, it is a trait of strong personalities.

The Greater Good Science Center claims “psychologists generally define forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.”

Yet, forgiveness is not an event but a process, and this explains the difference between decisional forgiveness and emotional forgiveness.

This distinction has been depicted as follows:

“Decisional forgiveness is a behavioral intention to resist an unforgiving stance and to respond differently toward a transgressor. Emotional forgiveness is the replacement of negative unforgiving emotions with positive other-oriented emotions. Emotional forgiveness involves psychophysiological changes, and it has more direct health and well-being consequences.”

The Journal of Behavioral Medicine published a study which confirmed that a forgiving personality was linked to better subjective well-being and psychological well-being.

Other studies have found a link between forgiveness and better sleep quality, reduced fatigue, improved physical symptoms, fewer medications used, and fewer somatic complaints.

Forgiveness also supports heart health. As found in a study published in the American Journal of Cardiology, forgiveness has a more cardioprotective profile, while anger and other negative emotions had cardiotoxic effects. The conclusion of the researchers was as follows:

“These findings suggest that interventions aimed at decreasing anger while increasing forgiveness may be clinically relevant.”

Researchers from Hope College’s Psychology Department tried to analyze the effects of negative emotions, so they conducted a research which involved 35 female and 36 male participants.

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