We often speak of forgiveness as a virtuous trait, but rarely do we talk about it in terms of the physical health benefits. I write about this today because as ADHDers we need a lot of structure, and often times we lose focus, forget some of the structure we set-up for ourselves and then beat ourselves up for not following that structure.
So I went on a search looking for actual research as to why it is important to strive to forgive others, and then applied that research inwards to highlight the importance of forgiving ourselves as well.
I did not have to go far to find research on the benefits of forgiving others. The Mayo Clinic’s recent article about forgiveness, explains that letting go of anger and practicing forgiveness can help lead to:
An About.com article lists a number of different studies on the physical benefits of forgiveness, some showing a lower heart rate and less stress. Two other studies they list show the following:
The reason I point this out is because we often look at the benefits of forgiving others, but we fail to realize that this same affect occurs when we forgive ourselves. When we constantly strive for perfection, and screw up, we tend to hold grudges, have negative thoughts and have increased anxiety. It is only when we understand we are human, imperfect by nature, and forgive us for our faults can we release this negative energy and truly be our healthiest and best.
I stress this today because I’ve written a lot since starting. In looking back to my goals I know that I don’t always ‘Remember the Milk,’ I often times ‘Check my e-mail in the morning,’ some days I don’t exercise and I haven’t quite gotten down the Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of blogging. It is OK. The most important thing I need to remember on a daily basis is to forgive myself, remember that I am human, so that I have the strength, energy, and health to continue working to become a better person.
Last reviewed: 24 May 2010