Learning to Forgive: Tips on How

Forgiveness is a healing process. Research suggests that practicing forgiveness leads to less stress, lower levels of depression, better self-esteem, and more satisfaction in life. Though it’s beneficial, it’s not easy, especially if the hurt runs deep. If you want to forgive, you must do the work to move past your resentment and pain.

Decide to forgive. Make a commitment to the process. Keep in mind that forgiving doesn’t necessarily mean keeping someone in your life. You can forgive a toxic person without remaining in a relationship with him or her.

Process your emotions in positive ways. You’re allowed to be hurt. However, if you’re serious about forgiving the person who hurt you, you must move beyond the desire to hurt them back. Rather than lashing out or turning your pain inward on yourself, find healthy ways to cope. Talk to a therapist. Start an art journal. Take up a sport that gets your endorphins pumping.

Use the REACH method of forgiveness. REACH stands for recall, emphasize, altruism, commit, and hold. Recall means thinking objectively about what hurt you. Don’t block your emotions, but don’t dwell on them either. Emphasis requires you to see things from the other person’s perspective. Note that this doesn’t mean downplaying their negative actions.

For altruism, you acknowledge that forgiveness is a gift you’re giving to the other person — and that it’s a gift that others have given to you. Commit means making a firm decision to forgive. Write your intention down somewhere concrete. No one has to see it but you. Next, hold firm to your forgiveness. Forgiving someone isn’t always an immediate thing; it can take time, and you might experience negative emotions for a while. This step means that you’ll remember your desire to forgive when those negative feelings arise.

Remember the positives. No one is all bad or all good. The person who hurt you has flaws, but they also have positive attributes. What are they? Take some time to think about or even write down their good traits. What made you care about them in the beginning? When negative feelings begin to surface, replace those thoughts with positive memories.

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Everyday Tips to Help Control Anxiety

Everyone has experienced the overwhelming feeling of anxiety at one time or another. When you were in high school it may have been a big test that you stressed about the night before, or the day before start a new job. The anxious feelings you have before any big life event are felt by most people, however when you experience anxiety day after day, you should take steps to ease these feelings of helplessness and panic. Luckily, there are several things you can do each and every day to lessen the grip anxiety has on your life and gain more control of your emotions.

Write It Down

Try to figure out exactly what isJournaling making you feel anxious by writing down your thoughts in a journal. Journaling on a daily basis can improve your mental and physical health because it helps you define your internal thoughts and put them on paper. Write fast, and without worry about grammar, spelling, or fear that someone will find it and read it.

Limit Caffeine and Alcohol

Alcohol and coffee can both exacerbate the effects of anxiety. It doesn’t mean you have to cut them out either entirely, but use them both in moderation. Try not to have caffeine in the afternoon, as this can cause you to be up later than normal and affect your sleep schedule. Drinking too much alcohol in the evening can lead to a restless sleep. Although alcohol can put you to sleep, it’s not quality sleep that will have you feeling rested the next day.

exerciseExercise

We all know exercise has many health benefits, but it also dulls the intensity of anxiety. A good exercise regimen that includes a couple hours a week of moderate exercise can help you keep your anxiety in check as well as giving you a boost of energy and confidence.

Practice Good Breathing

Oftentimes when faced with stress, we will hold our breaths. When you feel very anxious, take a moment to focus on your breathing and take a few deep breaths. Try your best to bring your attention to your breathing and not think about anything else to give your mind a quick break and make sure you’re breathing properly. Deep breathing triggers a relaxation response, helping us to calm down and take a step back.

Try not to Dwell on the Past

Maybe you said or did something embarrassing or made a mistake. Try not to dwell on what has happened and definitely don’t let it keep you from enjoying the things you love. Chances are, the worry you have about a particular event is not even being thought of by those who witnessed it.