Does forgiveness make you physically lighter?

Hello my dear friend, 

Forgiveness lightens us emotionally, but what does it do for us physically? 

Ryan Fehr, Associate Professor at the University of Washington, found in a study that forgiveness can make hills appear less steep and can even allow you to jump higher. That sounds pretty awesome if you ask me. 

His conclusions are, “How we perceive the world around us isn’t just about the object we are looking at, but also our mental and physical states.” The metaphor of lifting a weight off your shoulder becomes a reality. “These metaphors activate the concept in your mind. And that, in turn, influences how you actually perceive and act in the world.”

There are many ways to achieve forgiveness. He did include a simple technique that I would like to share with you. This exercise is from Marci Shimoff, the author of Happy For No Reason, which is a wonderful book!

1- Find a quiet place to sit where you won’t be disturbed.

2- Close your eyes and think of someone you are holding anger, hatred, or resentment towards.

3- Take a couple of deep breaths and let yourself feel your feelings without having to do anything about them. Just notice them.

4- Now realize this person’s hurtful actions cannot be changed. They are in the past, and there is absolutely nothing that can be done to affect them now. Feel the finality of that.

5- See that this person is the way they are–and did what they did–because they had some pain or some lack. People only hurt others because they hurt themselves. See this person with compassion, and see if you can empathize with their suffering. Imagine this person as a child who is hurting, lashing out at others because of the intensity of their own pain. Can you feel compassion?

6- Sit quietly for a minute or two more, feeling the expansion that compassion brings to your heart–in any amount. Feel the lightness as you let go of anger and you forgive.

Personally, I have been working on forgiveness in my life, and this exercise is simple and very effective for me. I encourage you to give it a try.

I love and appreciate you so much, and I want you to know that! With much love and gratitude!

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