People have known for a long time that stress can be harmful to your health. It causes the secretion of the fight or flight hormones that reduces the function of your organs and your immune system. If prolonged, it will also shorten your life. What many people may not know is that holding a grudge has the same effect and will shorten your longevity.
Each time you re-imagine the situation that caused the bitterness, more of the harmful hormones are produced. It will also increase the inflammation in your body and weaken your body’s ability to heal itself. You may also experience headaches, digestive issues, lower back pain, and possibly arthritis.
When cortisol is increased, it will help to shorten your telomeres, which are the ends of your chromosomes that indicate your longevity. Unforgiving people have an increased likelihood of heart disease because the stress hormones increase the C-reactive proteins – which promote it – and stroke.
When offenses occur, they often are a one-time event – but they can be repeated sometimes. Most often, the other person may not even be aware that an offense was committed. Holding a grudge ultimately means that you keep adding to the injury to yourself because of the long-term effects that continue to impact your body – and shorten your life!
A grudge can also affect your everyday life. This may occur in more ways than you realize. The more you think about what happened at some point in the past can prevent you from enjoying life today. Relationships may be hurt by it. It can also lead to depression and affect your mental health.
After forgiveness has taken place, you can expect several things to occur that show improved health on your part. You can expect lower blood pressure, less stress and hostility, better heart health, less depression, and a stronger immune system. You will also be able to develop deeper relationships and a greater feeling of contentment. Most likely, you will even be able to get a better night’s rest – and all these things will help you to live a long life.
As you age, it is natural that your immune system becomes weaker. In order to live longer and stay healthy, it is necessary to retain as healthy an immune system as possible. Unnecessary stress – due to increased cortisol levels – is sure to keep it weak and cause you to develop some fatal illness sooner than would otherwise be the case.
Deliberately forgiving the other person (at least in your mind) – even if they could care less – can help restore your health and let you enjoy life and relationships more. It may not be easy, but it will free you from thinking about it all the time and will remove the negative effects of stress from your body. You may not be able to forget it, but the result of genuine forgiveness will increase your longevity.
Wrongs are simply a part of life. Some may be committed deliberately and others by accident. That is a natural part of life – but you do not need to let it take years off your life. You can live longer and enjoy life with better health if you let go of those grudges and forgive those that have wronged you.