We have all been wronged at some point of our lives. When we feel like we have been treated unfairly or hurt, the last thing we want to do is to forgive. Some part of us tends to cling to the grudge and not let go. This is an impulse most of us feel at some point; however, is it bad for us to hold the grudge?
Forgiveness is something that many people talk about, but don't try to implement in practice. In part this may be because forgiving does not feel like a natural response. Forgiving might feel like giving the “bad guy” leeway or letting go of one's own anger and frustration without finding justice or payback. However, forgiveness is the healthier alternative, because holding the grudge has several negative effects for our health.
When we hold a grudge, we continue to think about the situation and the person who has offended us. Each time we remember it, we experience the same anger and frustration over and over again. We continue to feel strong negative emotions, which are reflected as certain physiological responses. We feel that we have no control and experience significant levels of stress.
Negative psychological effects of holding a grudge involve depression and anxiety. Individuals experience higher anger levels as well.
As for the physical effects, research shows that holding a grudge has negative effects on a person's health. It is linked to a higher blood pressure and high tension. Holding grudges is linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Forgiveness has been found to increase wellness and reduce depression and anxiety. It has also been linked to better healing rates for patients with cardiovascular disease.
In conclusion, it can be said that holding grudges is bad for our health. Even if it's not the most natural thing for many of us, forgiveness is better for our physical and mental health and can do a lot of good for us on the long run.