"If there’s someone who has hurt you or wronged you in some way, and you haven’t forgiven them, your stress level will be greater than it should be,” says Dr. Nelson, who has trained thousands of healing practitioners worldwide in the methods he outlines in his bestselling book “The Emotion Code.”
“When we withhold forgiveness from someone who has hurt us, we may think that we are getting even or hurting that person, but nothing could be further from the truth. What we are really doing is we are hurting ourselves. Say someone has done something truly horrible that seems impossible for you to forgive. This is where you have power to do something meaningful that can be life-changing, especially for yourself!"
Here are 3 simple steps Dr. Nelson recommends to forgive:
- Write a letter to the person you need to forgive. It helps you express negativity that might be in your soul. Write the letter even if you never mail it.
- Burn the letter. Take the letter outside, light it with a match, let it burn into ashes, and send it out to the universe. That can help you to let go and forgive.
- Speak Forgiveness. This can be telling another person (or yourself) that you truly have the one who wronged you. This helps seal the forgiveness.
- Strive for a state of acceptance and understanding of others, despite their negative behavior or difficult nature. If there's someone who has hurt you or wronged you in some way, and you haven't forgiven them, your stress level will high. A better way of living is to be at peace with the universe and with all our fellow beings. None of us are perfect and we all have reasons for acting the way we do.
- Don't forget to go easy on yourself: How many times have you chastised yourself for making a poor decision, lashing out at others, being clumsy, or running late for a meeting? Most mistakes we make won't affect us in the long run. In fact, by recognizing the value in our own folly, we can learn some of life's most valuable lessons!
- Choose Positive Emotions: You are the pilot of your own life, and you can choose to make intelligent and balanced decisions. When you find yourself automatically being guided toward the emotion of anger, for example, wait a few seconds and ask yourself if it would better serve you to change course. The ability to choose more positive emotions is something all of us have, but it's like a muscle that needs regular exercise in order to serve us best. When you focus on flexing this muscle, you will learn to become more patient and your emotions will enhance your life instead of controlling it. This can also help you maintain healthy boundaries.
- Release Emotional Baggage: You can lower your stress level by getting clear on the underlying causes of negative emotional choices and nagging, negative thoughts.