It is difficult not to picture pretty presents or donations to local food banks or countless hours helping others when we discuss the construct of giving. Dedication of our time, money, and talents are valuable forms of giving that contribute to the wellness of our society. However, the practice of forgiveness can do wonders for our mental health and the health of those around us – a true gift to all! Studies show that through forgiveness, we can:
- Decrease symptoms of depression, anxiety, PTSD and anger
- Increase self-esteem
- Heal wounds
- Create feelings of safety and strength
Effective forgiveness takes time and practice. It is not easy, but it is worth it. Consider utilizing the following strategies as you incorporate forgiveness into your everyday life:
- Commit to positive thinking: Avoid speaking negatively about those who have harmed you and attempt to find human connections with others – look for the good. Small acts of forgiveness build our capacity to reframe our experiences
- Understand your pain and find meaning in it: Take some time to reflect how you have been harmed and the perspective, courage, and growth it has given you.
- Practice empathy: Attempt to see the person behind the action, recognizing that they have a story, too. Acknowledging others’ suffering can be a bridge to opening yourself up to giving forgiveness and receiving it.
Looking for more ideas about forgiveness? Explore resources through Dr. Robert Enright’s research here. Learn about how we can create a compassionate society through the work of the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley, found on this website: Greater Good Magazine
WSD embraces the importance of the well-being of our Wissahickon community!