According to an article published by Harvard Women’s Health Watch, forgiving those who hurt you can improve your mental and physical well being I would add that forgiveness will ultimately improve the quality of your life at work and at home.
The easiest path to forgiving big things is by routinely forgiving small things. Practicing e art of forgiveness in everyday life makes it easier to draw on those experiences when you need to forgive bigger offenses.
People who have an easier time forgiving others have a few things in common:
- They see life as fallible and everyone takes missteps
- They see people as generally good rather than bad
- They understand that their perceptions play into whether or not they feel offended
- The don’t sweat the small stuff
- They don’t expect perfection
- They are not highly sensitive people
People who find it easy to forgive have a corner on the happiness market because they use their underlying morals and values as a way to move through the day thinking about bigger picture reasons that annoying things happen and can offer forgiveness inwardly and outwardly and move on.
Here are some ways to offer forgiveness and adopt an emotionally more mature mindset each day:
Forgive poor service- when you are treated poorly by waitstaff or a clerk at a store, consider what might be driving their negativity. Having a heart for facts that you may never know can make it easier to forgive poor behavior and model kindness and grace in the face of a bad experience. Instead of assuming the clerk is a disconnected jerk, imagine they are working overtime and have been berated by many customers.
Forgive rude gestures- If someone cuts you off in traffic, takes your parking space, or gives you a smug look – forgive them. Try to not take things personally or believe that they are getting away with something. The sooner you can let it go, the sooner you can replace the adrenaline rush of anger with a better-suited emotion for your day. Being able to cast your care and forgive the rudeness frees you up for a better mood.
Forgive mistakes- Mistakes happen as a fact of life. You make them too. Berating someone for a blunder only rubs their nose in it and puts them on the defensive. To the best of your ability, forgive mistakes quickly and appreciate any gestures made to put things right. Allowing grace and a chance to do the right thing should always wipe away the sting of a mistake.
Learning to let go of the righteous anger or sadness that comes from being offended does yourself a world of good. Being able to forgive and forget the little irritations is perfect practice for moving on from big hurts and let downs.
You deserve to live your best life, prospering in all you do at work and at home. Be compassionate and be forgiving.
Anne McGurty is a business strategist specializing in creating systems and structures for the creative entrepreneur. She is also a PMP, Project Management Professional, with over 30 years of experience working with corporations and small businesses to improve communication, identify risks, and manage outstanding issues and help keep projects on schedule, adding value, saving time, and money. Anne is passionate about the role of a consultant and coach to her clients and brings a healthy, life balance perspective to her approach as she is a thriving cancer survivor.