Have you ever found yourself angry someone or something from the past? Maybe the past was last week. Or maybe the past was months or even years ago. Either way, if that fixation is rooted in anger the issue has gotten the better of you.
So what to do? Well, it isn’t that the remedy is difficult to understand. In fact, the solution is quite simple. It’s a challenge, but swallowing pride is a necessary element. Hence, we’ve got forgiveness.
You see, often we only view forgiveness through the lens of the other person. Like if we extend that “free pass” they get off without a penalty. And, boy, do we like “justice!” But according to new research, forgiveness may actually have more lasting benefit to the one doing the forgiving.
Anger eats away and, over time, creates a bitterness that can be hard to rid. In addition, anger can cause negative health issues.Thankfully, there are some practical steps to help move past anger and ensure it doesn’t happen again and again.
Forgive and Forget Angry
True forgiveness involves a short memory. This may sound simpler than it really is, but it is a key to moving on. You may never have the same level of trust for an individual that you once did, but putting the transgression out of your mind goes a long way toward the personal healing process.
Distance is Your Friend
Replaying what has made you angry over and over again in your mind is one way to not forgive. Scientists refer to this practice as “rumination.” You have to let go.
You must create some distance by channeling your focus elsewhere. Learning how not to fixate is a crucial part of the process!
Take a New Perspective
Humans are good at judging themselves based on intention and others based on action. To put if another way, I’m good at offering the benefit of the doubt to myself, but less so when it comes to another person. In psychological circles, the term Theory of Mind refers to the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Circumstances shape decisions more often than we’d like to think. The other person may not have the flawed personal characteristics you’ve assigned to them.
Even if someone “deserves” your anger, the long-term impact of remaining mad can have undesirable lasting consequences. Reshaping your focus leads to lasting benefits that can improve your quality of life in the long run.
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