I recently saw a photo of 50-year-old women from the 1950s, 60s, and 70s versus a 50-year-old from today. The woman from fifty to seventy years ago looked very matronly, whereas the 50-year-old woman today looks more like our sister instead of our mother. Society has become more concerned about what we look like externally versus doing the internal work to make sure we are truly healthy.
Social media began approximately 20 years ago and continues to dominate the actions of how people want to portray themselves to the public. We have filters and so many other ways to edit what we want people to see, but no matter how much we try and disguise our looks, we can't run from what is going on inside.
As I continue to age and get closer to sixty, I understand more than ever the importance of taking care of our bodies, watching what we eat, and making sure we exercise. But I also know that true health and wealth starts from being concerned about our mind, body, and soul. Learning the power and importance of true forgiveness – whether it's forgiving yourself or someone else – can change our lives forever and free us from stress, anxiety, and poisons that can kill our bodies and soul.
Studies have shown that when we forgive, our lives improve. The act of forgiveness and releasing the anger and bitterness that can control our actions and behaviors can also give us better health and achieve real wealth.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the benefits of forgiveness include:
- Healthier relationships
- Improved mental health and depression
- Reduced cholesterol levels
- Improved sleep
- Less anxiety, stress, and hostility
- Lower blood pressure
- Fewer symptoms of depression
- A stronger immune system
- Improved heart health
- Improved self-esteem
If research has proven that we are better off by extending forgiveness, then why do we have such a hard time extending it to ourselves and others? There are several answers to this question. It could be because we feel more in control, holding onto the anger and bitterness. We might feel guilty, or sometimes it could be as simple as not understanding how to forgive.There are several steps we can take to help us work on learning how to forgive and achieve better health. The first thing is whenever you are dealing with a situation, stop and breathe. Don't let anything control you; you control it. An exercise I recommend is taking a ball (like a tennis ball or a stress ball) and squeezing it as hard as you can for 10 seconds. Then release and just let it go. Repeat this five times, and when you finish, you will feel a tingling sensation that seems to be leaving your body. This is stress, tension, anxiety, and chemicals that do nothing but harm you. If you can master releasing stress, then it will help lead to good health and wealth – both inside and outside your body. Remember, forgiveness is a choice, and it is something that any of us can achieve if we decide to do so.