The great Maya Angelou once said, “Forgiveness. It’s one of the best gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.”
It turns out that she was right. Letting go of resentment, grudges, and bitterness isn’t easy, but there is a long list of benefits of forgiveness. Accessing the social, health, and emotional benefits derived from the act of forgiveness will lead you to a happier and healthier life.
Sometimes this is easier said than done. We may need help to get to the emotional cleansing we need to forgive. That’s where forgiveness coaching comes in—to guide you through all of the emotions and stages of being able to forgive.
Read more to find out about the positive benefits that a forgiveness coach can offer you.
What Are the Benefits of Forgiveness?
There are many benefits to forgiveness that can have a positive impact on your life. Here are some of the ways forgiveness can improve your life.
Studies show that there are many health benefits to making forgiveness a part of your life.
Negative emotions create havoc in your body. Researchers have found, that when we forgive, we reap amazing physiological benefits. Among those are:
- A stronger immune system
- Lower blood pressure
- Decreased symptoms of depression
- Decreased anxiety and stress
- Improvement of digestive issues
- Fewer headaches
- Better blood circulation
Forgiveness allows you to live in the present, to focus on your own life, instead of dwelling in the past. Holding onto anger and resentment for something that happened in the past keeps you stuck in the terrible moment. When you forgive, you make room for light, love, and positivity in your life.
Harvard-trained psychologist Dr. Peter Breggin says, “Forgiveness has no downside. A renewal in our capacity to forgive can only improve our inner life and empower us in every activity we undertake.”
The act of forgiveness contributes to healthier and more peaceful interactions with family and friends. It also makes you more compassionate towards others, understanding that no one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. Another truth rises to the surface—that everyone deserves and needs forgiveness for something, at some point in their lives.
Interacting with your loved ones without the weight of bitterness on your shoulders is essential to building and maintaining strong relationships.
Why Is It So Difficult to Forgive?
People have a natural instinct to avoid being taken advantage of by others. The first reactions are usually retaliation, negative reciprocity, or revenge. The desire to “get back at someone” or to make someone feel as badly as you did is strong.
It’s difficult to remove the negative emotions and pain from our memories. Sometimes it’s the fear of letting it go only to be hurt or let down again. The belief that the offender deserves some sort of punishment could also stand in the way of your being able to forgive.
It’s important to remember that forgiveness doesn’t come easy, and forgiveness is never about the other person. It is about bringing peace to your own life, to yourself.
How Can a Forgiveness Coach Help?
Forgiveness, undoubtedly, has a powerful effect on your life.
Before forgiving, however, certain misconceptions must be cleared up. Forgiveness does not mean condoning any behavior or demonstrating weakness. Forgiving someone does not mean that your feelings are not valid or important. Forgiveness coaches coach on forgiving and help you achieve a new understanding of the nature of forgiveness and the positive benefits it offers.
A certified forgiveness coach is a life coach who specializes in the area of forgiveness. They understand how difficult it is to forgive and let go of the bitterness and anger you feel. Here are the phases of forgiveness coaching:
The Gathering of the Details
This phase clarifies the events in life that brought you to the realization that forgiveness is necessary. The incident must be discussed while acknowledging that it was unfair and unjust. Not only is the specific incident discussed, but also how it trickled down into the rest of your life, changing things as you once knew them. Often, suppressed anger and fear rise to the surface.
Making the Choice
This phase is about the realization that forgiveness is a choice. When one seeks out a forgiveness coach, this often means they have chosen to forgive. But it also means resolving to forgive based on a clearer understanding of the triggering event but also to feel the power in choosing to move forward.
Peeling Back the Layers
Once you have made the powerful choice to forgive, there is work to be done. Your forgiveness coach will allow you to understand different perspectives involved, including that of the offender. Often it comes down to realizing that no one is perfect and that we are all flawed in our own ways. This reframing involves a change of perspectives and is an important part of the forgiveness process.
There is a moment in your forgiveness coaching when you start to feel the pain and weight of longheld anger and resentment lift. This happens when you truly forgive the person who hurt you. At the same time, the act of forgiveness heals you as you find relief from the negative emotions and burden you have been carrying for far too long.
Forgiveness Coaching: The Ultimate Gift to Yourself
Forgiveness coaching is a tool that can help a person live a fuller and happier life without the weight of anger, depression, and resentment. The act of forgiveness ultimately improves our health, our emotional and mental health, and our relationships.
If the inability to forgive is holding you back but you are ready to regain control of your life, a radical forgiveness coach may be the answer! Connect with me, Brenda Reiss, Forgiveness Coach, to help you find peace and harmony in your life again. Let me help you reclaim the life you were meant to live.