The Forgiveness-Arthritis Connection
Don’t kick yourself if you get annoyed every now and then. But carrying a grudge is something else. Some scientists say that if you have arthritis, holding onto ill will can make it worse. On the other hand, learning to let go and open your heart can release stress and reduce the pain and inflammation of arthritis.
Here’s why: Studies show stress exacerbates pain, tightens muscles and interferes with the smooth running of the immune system – all things that have an effect on arthritis. It also interferes with a good night’s sleep. Forgiveness turns it around. Research conducted by the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, Ann Arbor, reported that people who experience forgiveness had reduced levels of stress.
But most of us aren’t saints, and forgiveness may not come easily. Here are some techniques that can help:
If an apology is out there, try to accept it Allow someone the chance to apologize when they've hurt you. Letting someone say they’re sorry for the harm they have caused will help you to start healing and recognize that a situation was not their fault alone, or may not have been anyone’s.
Realize that everyone makes mistakes We are all human, and sometimes we are selfish people. Not everyone means to be this way, but it happens. Try to think of the situation as a mistake.