To Forgive or Not To Forgive?

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional – The Dalai Lama

Forgiveness is not something we do for other people. It’s something we do for ourselves to move on. -Anonymous


  • Self-care skill 
  • Act of releasing negative emotions, thoughts, and actions
  • Emotion-focused coping mechanism
  • Highly related to health and wellbeing by reducing stress
  • For better life, health, and relationship 
  • Forgiveness is not about forgetting or condoning events or trauma

What forgiveness is:

Self-care skill and Act of releasing negative emotions

Forgiveness is a self-care skill that helps us to heal. Forgiveness is the act of releasing negative emotions, thoughts, and actions and replacing them with positive ones such as peace, relief, acceptance, compassion, and love. Forgiveness involves easing and reducing adverse responses to an offense, whether actual or perceived.

Emotional-focused coping mechanism

Forgiveness is defined as emotional, cognitive, psychological, and behavioral feedback and response to interpersonal and intrapersonal conflicts. It is connected to mental and physical health indicators. Forgiveness has been theorized to be an emotion-focused coping method that can help to manage negative psychological and emotional experiences.

Highly related to health and wellbeing by reducing stress

Stress has been linked to health-related problems such as high blood pressure, increased heart rate, and chronic disease. Many such diseases can be treated and prevented by alleviating stress. Relived painful or hurtful thoughts, beliefs, and memories significantly increased skin sweat levels, heart rate, and blood pressure. Negative responses increase the levels of cortisol found in an individual’s mouth. Evidence shows that forgiveness is highly related to health and wellbeing by reducing stress and related problems. Reducing angry thoughts through forgiveness decreases systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

For better life

The Dalai Lama once said, “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” We will get hurt during our lives, but we don’t have to continue to suffer from the past. Forgiveness helps us move on from the past, embrace the present, and welcome the future. Forgiveness helps us improve our physical, mental, and emotional for a better life. Also, forgiveness increases happiness in our daily life, relationships, and community. It allows us to be better connected and tolerant of ourselves, friends, family, strangers, and community.

For better health 

If you are suffering from chronic pain or injury, forgiveness can help. If you have experienced physical, psychological, or emotional trauma, learning to forgive can help you heal and retake control of your life. Many of us have suffered from illness, accidents or other trauma and continue to suffer significant physical or emotional pain. 

For relationships

Forgiveness is for anyone who wants to better and improve their relationships. If you want to improve your relationships, then learn to forgive your significant other. If you want to improve your sex life, forgiveness can help. Maybe you want to better your relationships with your parents, children, or siblings; forgiveness can help (perhaps it is time to let go of the time when they stole your toys or blamed you for their mess). Maybe you are tired of being angry at yourself for past mistakes and want to move on. 

What forgiveness is not:

Forgiveness is not about forgetting or condoning events or trauma

Forgiveness is not about forgetting or condoning events or trauma. There is a misconception that forgiveness is about forgetting. Like a book, you can remove the emotional investment from a story and accept that story without feeling hurt, shame, resentment, anger, and anxiety associated with the event or people associated with that event. Forgiving an event does not mean that you approve that behavior or action. It is a method of accepting that the event happened, and becoming aware of your emotional, physical, and mental response to the event. It is not about excusing the offense but allows you to break free from suffering and regain control of your life.

Start Today!

Research has shown that forgiveness can be a powerful tool to help with problems and contribute to a better life! Start today to use forgiveness therapy!

Disclaimer: Forgiveness counseling is not a substitute or replacement of any medical or psychological treatment. It is designed to be complementary to your current treatment. Forgiveness is used to keep healthy people healthy by reducing stress. Please consult with your medical provider or therapist.