7 Tiny Ways Choosing To Forgive Gives You Intense Power

You can still be angry when it's appropriate, but you deserve to feel more than just resentment.

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There are many reasons not to forgive someone who did you wrong, but they usually come from the same place — control. See, withholding forgiveness allows you a sense of control over what happened. As long as you're hanging onto it, it feels like it's yours

The problem is that this is a false sense of control. What happened to you done, it is in the past. You cannot change what happened, you can only change how you relate to it now. And if anger helps you, you can still be angry when it's appropriate! But that anger and resentment can also keep you stuck, and that's the opposite of empowering.


Here are 7 humble reasons to forgive

1. It's good for your health 

Holding a grudge or holding onto anger can make you physically ill. Refusing to let it go is toxic and can cause physical illnesses (like ulcers), emotional anguish, and undue stress. Frequent high levels of anger can even cause heart disease. Why not learn to relax and extend your life?

RELATED: 4 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Deciding To Forgive Someone

2. It makes you more focused

When you forgive someone, you heal yourself. How powerful is that? It lifts a heavy burden from your heart as well as your shoulders. Your mindset will probably shift to a more positive place. Plus, you'll sleep better and get more accomplished at work.


3. It makes you more likable

Is being right or having the last word worth the price? Are you willing to cut the cord with this person? Or can you agree to disagree and break the “he said she said” syndrome?

RELATED: How To Forgive Someone Who Hurt You (Even When They Don't Really Deserve It)

4. It shows your strength

Forgiving is a sign of strength, not weakness. Mahatma Gandhi said, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” Learning how to forgive means you're in control and can get out of victim mode and into a place of influence and positive energy.

With head on hands she thinks about reasons to forgive F01 PHOTO via Shutterstock


5. It improves your relationships

Forgiving your loved ones will translate into major rewards for your relationships. It can earn you respect, recognition, admiration, love, trust and so much more. It will give both you and the other person an opportunity to grow.

RELATED: 5 Small Questions That Can Save You From Big Heartbreak When You're Angry

6. It makes you more successful at work

We spend most of our waking hours at work, so why not practice forgiveness there? Letting it go at work with colleagues, employees, and management can also lead to improved and healthier relationships, better synergies, and increased productivity and energy. Employees who hold onto grudges and retaliate are endangering the mission and welfare of the company (as well as their job security).

7. It's emotionally intelligent

The ability to manage one’s own emotions is a key aspect of emotional intelligence (EQ). Studies show that EQ is more important than IQ in determining one’s success in their career and personal life.


How many of us have been in a car with people who lose their cool when another driver cuts them off, tailgates, or honks their horn at them? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that over 13,000 injuries or deaths happened because of aggressive driving yearly. Aggressive driving escalates quickly.

These tragedies occurred because those on the receiving end refused to "let it go" and didn't understand how to forgive other drivers for small mistakes. Don't let this type of toxic thinking negatively impact your happiness. Yes, road rage can be combated by quick, simple "forgiveness" we can give others in traffic. Thinking to ourselves, "I don't know this person's story, maybe they just got horrible news" or "I can't control what that driver did, but I don't want to let him ruin my day" are quick ways to let a transgression go and return to a healthier, more empowered and peaceful place. 

Forgiving people makes you happier, so the next time you feel the anger brewing or are about to explode, take a deep breath and exhale slowly, count to 10, blog or journal about what you're feeling, and give that anger a chance to dissipate. Only then can you truly understand how to be happy?


RELATED: 6 Quotes To Inspire You To Take Action (And Get You Out Of Victim Mode)

Ellen Kamaras is a life and organizational coach whose specialties include: relationship coaching for singles, individuals seeking to reinvent themselves, empty-nesters looking for new purpose and fulfillment, and individuals who want to get “unstuck” but are afraid to take risks.