The Power of Forgiveness: Why Letting Go Is Good

Power of forgiveness: Here’s why letting go of grudges and hatred is good for you

Whether it's a disagreement with a friend, a conflict with a neighbour or a misunderstanding with a loved one, these incidents can linger in our minds for long, leading us to hold grudges.

In life, it’s almost inevitable that we will encounter unpleasant experiences, those that may leave us feeling upset, hurt and bitter. Whether it’s a disagreement with a friend, a conflict with a neighbour or a misunderstanding with a loved one, these incidents can linger in our minds for long, leading us to hold grudges.

But holding grudges only prolongs our own pain and suffering. It keeps us trapped in a cycle of negativity and prevents us from moving on. As American educator and orator Booker T Washington states, “Holding a grudge does not hurt the person against whom the grudge is held, it hurts the one who holds it.” This quote highlights that grudges do not harm others but us, only us.

One notable study on the harmful effects of holding grudges was conducted by Dr Karen Swartz, a psychiatrist and director of the Mood Disorders Adult Consultation Clinic at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr Swartz’s research found that holding onto grudges can lead to increased feelings of anger, anxiety and depression in people.

World Forgiveness Day is celebrated on the 7th of July. This day encourages people to let go of grudges and past hurts. It also highlights the importance of empathy and compassion in building a happier world. On this day, join us as we explore the power of forgiveness and why letting go of grudges and hatred is good for you.

Form better connections with others

connections with others

Certain incidents from the past can leave us feeling bitter. For instance, it can be an argument with a parent or sibling or a falling out with a friend. These experiences can cast a shadow over our relationships and make it difficult for us to move forward. However, when we choose to let go of grudges towards some of our dearest people and forgive them, we start to heal and make way for healthier relationships. Letting go of grudges is like opening a window to let the fresh air and sunshine in.

Feel happier, less stressed

There are times when you keep replaying negative incidents in your mind and find yourself feeling upset, stressed and angry. For instance, a teacher unwittingly made a hurtful comment about your project or maybe a classmate laughed at you while you were already feeling vulnerable. These experiences can leave anyone feeling bitter, harbouring feelings of hatred.

Holding onto grudges like these can feel like carrying a heavy boulder. It weighs you down, making everything feel more difficult than it needs to be. But when you release the grip from those grudges, suddenly, your life feels lighter. You feel happier and less stressed. Now that is something worth holding on to!

Welcome a calmer mind and heart

Having a calm mind and heart is not something out of a fairytale. If you learn to cultivate it, there are numerous health benefits you can enjoy. Some advantages of having a calm demeanour is—you feel more relaxed, sleep better and enjoy your time with loved ones more deeply. In contrast, when you hold onto resentment and grudges, it robs you of that sense of overall peace.

Letting go of grudges allows you to unburden yourself and embrace a life that is light and only filled with calm and joy.

Brighten your mood and outlook

Festering anger and resentment can make us look at life through a negative lens, causing us to mistrust people and expect the worst in every situation. These feelings can cloud our judgment and make it hard to see the good in others in the long run. But when we make peace with our past and let go of our grudges, we get rewarded by the removal of the heavy, often dreary baggage that we carried. Our moods brighten as does our outlook.

So, instead of seeing everything in a negative light, learn to process your negative emotions, let go of the grudges and start to see the world in a positive light again.

Strengthen mind and body

Resentment, especially if harboured for long, can cause significant harm to both our minds and bodies. It can lead to increased stress and anxiety, making us suffer much more than the resentment causing incident was worth. In fact, most grudges can take a massive toll on our mental and physical wellbeing. However, the minute we release the burden of grudges, we feel more energised and notice a healthy change in our physical and mental wellbeing. That positivity is something worth fighting for!

Build confidence, self-worth

Often, we feel strong that we are able to hold something as heavy as a grudge for so long. What we do not realise is that the negativity from these feelings can seep into every aspect of our lives and at times, even make us question our worth. We may not even understand where the lack of confidence, doubt and feeling of unworthy is coming from. But it is simply stemming from the grudges and resentments we hold.

On the other hand, when we choose to let go of these very grudges, we free ourselves from self-doubt and allow generosity to take that place. Letting go of resentment is actually a powerful act of self-love and acceptance that helps us feel worthy and confident, gradually but surely.

Letting go of grudges and hatred isn’t just good for others—it’s good for us too. By releasing the burden of resentment, we open ourselves up to a world of possibilities. So, let go of those grudges and watch life transform for the better.


Why is letting go of grudges important?

Letting go of grudges allows us to free ourselves from the burden of resentment. It can also lead to improved mental and emotional wellbeing.

What are some of the benefits of letting go of grudges?

Letting go of grudges can help you have healthier relationships, improve mental health, reduce stress and anxiety.

How can I let go of grudges and move on?

You can let go of grudges by practicing forgiveness and focusing on the present moment and seeking support from friends, family or a therapist.

What are the consequences of holding onto grudges?

Holding onto grudges can lead to feelings of anger, resentment and can even negatively impact your health in the long run.




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