Forgiveness: A Powerful Tool to Let Go and Move On

We all have been in some situations where we been truly wronged and hurt by someone. We have been through some rough times where we felt like life is intentionally being hard on us.

In such cases, it’s much much harder to forgive and let go. On the other hand, it’s easy to hold on to those bitter experiences and reliving them.

You are absolutely right that what you had experienced is terrible and you are reacting to it & feeling sorry for yourself by holding onto those things as you are badly hurt.

But let me ask you something – Do they (people who have done you wrong) deserve a single more second from your precious life?? Do you allow a thief to enter your home and live there forever??

“No”, Right, then why you are holding onto the past and allowing it to steal your joy by letting it live in your mind.

Forgiveness is not for the other person, it’s for yourself. Forgiveness is a gift to yourself – a gift of your mental and emotional freedom.

How to forgive someone who has caused great pain to you as this is not at all easy?

All it requires is your willingness to forgive. Keep in mind that you are doing this for yourself and for your peace & happiness. If the damage is too deep then give yourself some time to get through it and don’t rush.

But, if you really want to move ahead with your life happily and peacefully, you have to forgive and there is no other way.

Here are a few steps you can practice to learn the art of forgiveness:

  • Before forgiving the person who wronged you, forgive yourself for allowing that person to hurt you
  • Acknowledge it by recognizing how much pain it caused you and decide to limit its power on you
  • Show empathy – try to understand why the other person has done you wrong. Yes, what they did to you is completely unfair but try to understand what caused them to do that (maybe their past experiences, conditioning from their surroundings)
  • Hold onto forgiveness – whenever you will get caught by thoughts on those past experiences, practice forgiveness and detach yourself from that situation
  • Make a commitment that you will make yourself feel better

Pull yourself out from the hatred and resentment by completely forgiving yourself, the other person who wronged you, and the situation.

We all deserved to be happy no matter what has happened to us in the past. Do not allow bad experiences to destroy your life. Completely forgive everything that making you feel sad about yourself and move on.

5 Healthy Ways to Express Anger

For most of us, anger management starts with looking for a punching bag to hit to release this negative emotion.

But this is not a healthy way to express anger as it teaches us an unhealthy behavioral pattern which can make us more aggressive.

One study published in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology shows a group of people who used punching bags to release their emotions became more aggressive compared to the other group which did not use this method to express their anger.

Before starting any of these methods you need to identify the root cause responsible for originating the anger and that is “your expectations” from people and from your life.

We expect certain behaviors from people like politeness from friends and colleagues and love, respect and care from loved ones and family. We carry many exceptions with us in our day to day life such as we don’t want to be late for our work, we don’t want to be stuck in traffic for hours, we want our parcel to be delivered on time and list goes on.

When these expectations do not meet, we become frustrated and angry. We need to understand that our anger is because of these expectations in our mind and we need to accept the reality by ending these expectations.

Here are the 5 healthy ways to express your anger:

1. Talk to a Friend

Talk to a third person you trust about the incidence and express your feelings and have an in-depth discussion on this. Then practice letting go of that event.

2. Write Down Your Feelings

Research says writing your feelings can help you to better understand your emotions. Write down your feelings on a piece of paper or in a journal and express your emotions. Then confront the situation calmly and clearly.

3. Meditation

Meditation is a powerful tool for calming our mind in a natural way. It can help us to reduce our body’s response to anger.

In the calm state of meditation express your feelings and let it go.

4. Cry

Crying is a healthy way to release our negative emotions, many of us can feel intense emotions with crying.

It does not mean you are weak but it means you are a human being and you are experiencing an intense emotion. You will feel a lot better after crying and next you have to focus on letting it go by forgiveness.

5. Step Out of it and Take a Walk

As soon as you identify your emotion and if you feel it is taking control over you, step out of it and take a walk or go for a run.

It will give you an opportunity to analyze the situation calmly, talk to yourself and express your feelings. After sometime when everyone is calmer you will be able to solve the issue in a better way.

Do Not Try to Control Your Anger Instead Let It Pass Through You

Controlling or suppressing anger can work as a temporary fix but this is not a healthy way to deal with it specifically when we are unconsciously expressing it frequently. Suppressed anger can lead to anxiety and depression.

Anger is a natural human emotion, so it’s completely OK to feel anger as it alerts us that we are experiencing something which we don’t want to experience. But it is very important for us to ensure that it is not taking control over us and not becoming destructive.

If you deal with anger correctly by analyzing why it is happening in the first place instead of promptly reacting to it, you can save yourself from its damage.

Now this is not at all easy to think about all these stuffs when you become angry as we lose our ability to think clearly and act rationally in this state. Also, we will not able to hold our perspective and communicate effectively. That’s why we say some terrible things which we don’t really mean it and sometimes it may turn into violence.

Learning how to deal with anger in the correct way is an incredible challenge. It will not happen overnight, you have to work on this consistently and train your mind to learn how not to react and develop patience. This process might be different for everyone depending upon the individual’s state of mind.

If you are experiencing anger specifically for few unpleasant things, then develop a curiosity to understand why it is happening, use your anger to understand yourself and list down all the things that would make you unhappy and angry. Start working on each thing in the list and make a peace with them by acceptance and forgiveness.

Do not try to prove yourself to others or forcefully try to change them, their opinions or actions are based on their conditioning and beliefs, accept them the way they are and forgive them.

Next time when you experience anger, do not suppress it or try to control it instead fully feel it by adopting these 5 healthy ways to express anger as below:

5 Healthy Ways to Express Anger

And if you are constantly feeling angry for little things that indicate your mind is not at peace and you may be holding on many undesirable events from the past or immensely unhappy with your current situation.  In this case, you must let go of every past traumatic experience by forgiving and accepting your current situation the way it is.

Research says continuous anger explosion will increase the risk of heart attack, and it is associated with skin disorders and digestive problems too. It’s a disaster for our mental well-being. So, if you are badly caught by anger you need to start working on it because if you don’t then it can aggravate and keep on increasing.

As for every human emotion, there is an underlying cause for its origin, we can also identify the origin of anger and if we learn to make a peace with it by acceptance, forgiving, or letting go (depending upon the situation) we will be able to handle anger in a constructive way.

3 Simple Ways to Fall Asleep Fast

Falling asleep quickly within a few minutes is like a dream to many of us.        

Millions of people around the world are suffering from insomnia and are sleep deprived. Many of them are not even aware of it that they are not having an enough sleep.

Only people who go through this can understand the worth of being able to sleep quickly. How each night becomes a big struggle for them by constantly making efforts to sleep with little or no success. In many cases, the brain becomes super active at night entertaining millions of thoughts and worries with inability to turn it off easily.

Sleeping peacefully for 7-8 hours daily is very necessary for our physical and mental health and if we continue to operate without enough sleep, we may develop some serious health conditions including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and obesity. It also fastens the aging process.

Many factors contribute in our sleeping patterns, but stress and worry are strongly associated with our sleeping abilities. Thus, before trying any sleeping tricks, you need to work on the reducing your stress and anxiety levels.

Caffeine has a half-life of 6 hours and it can affect your sleep hence do not consume caffeine-containing beverage after 3 pm.

Research says a drop in your body temperature can help in sleeping so take a shower before sleeping and reduce the temperature of your room.

Here are the 3 simple ways to fall asleep fast:

1). 4-7-8 Breathing Technique

This is the most powerful technique to fall asleep within a few minutes.

This technique was invented by Dr. Weil which makes you feel more relaxed by increasing oxygen levels in your blood stream, slowing down your heart rate and releasing more carbon dioxide from the lung.

How to perform this exercise according to Dr. Weil:

  • Put your tongue behind your upper front teeth and keep it there during the whole exercise.
  • Exhale completely through your mouth making a whoosh sound.
  • Close your mouth and gently inhale through your nose to a mental count of four.
  • Hold your breath for a count of seven.
  • Exhale entirely through your mouth making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.

Repeat this for total of four times before stopping.

2). Sleep Meditation/ Sleep Relaxation Technique

A lot of audios and videos are available on the internet for guided sleep mediation which can help you in relaxing your mind and body to fall asleep fast.

You can also do sleep mediation by yourself – calm your entire body by releasing all the thoughts and focus entirely on your breath. Bring awareness to your body and your reactions, try to be in this state of no-thoughts for as long as possible. If you feel distracted with some thought, instead of forcefully avoiding it, accept it without judging and let it go, again re-direct your focus on your breath and relax.

3). Do Not Forcefully Try to Sleep

The harder you try and the harder you work at sleeping, you are more likely to fail on this.

Many people desperately try sleeping worrying about how the next day will be without having an enough sleep. This will get you into a more anxious state and you may end up trying sleeping for more than half of the night.

Shift your goal from trying forcefully sleeping to becoming more relaxed and be awake.

One experimental Study conducted at the University of Glasgow (UK) on insomnia patients shows surprising results when they incorporated reverse psychology (staying awake instead of trying sleeping). These patients were asked to stay awake with their eyes open which made them sleep easier and faster.

After getting into a relaxed state gently open your eyes with shutting down all your thoughts.

This technique is not a permeant solution, but you can use it if it is working on you as a temporary fix.

Try these above-mentioned simple strategies to fall asleep faster and improve your sleep patterns for better health and enhanced productivity.

Comparing Yourself to Others: Can We Use it as a Tool for Self-improvement?

The answer is “Yes”, but only if you do a constructive comparison!

This may sound debatable to many readers as we are constantly hearing that we should not compare ourselves to others, we should only compare ourselves to the person we were yesterday, and we should have our own path to follow.

When we compare ourselves to others, few emotions arise relative to the object of comparison such as feeing of lacking, separation, envyness and discontent.

Famous quote on comparison:

Comparison is the thief of joy” – Theodore Roosevelt

We all know that comparing ourselves to others is not at all good for our wellbeing, but is it really possible to completely stop doing that??

If your answer is “Yes” then that’s really awesome and please stick to it “Do Not Compare Yourself to Others”

But majority of us cannot resist ourselves on comparing as this is in the human instinct to compare ourselves to others on various aspects like physical appearance, financial status, career, luck, lifestyle, intelligence, and a number of followers on social media.

So how we can use this natural human behavior of comparison as a motivational tool for our personal development?

Through constructive comparison which involves analysis of the root factors responsible for the feeling of resentment and how you can focus and work on the particular thing (which you are comparing and feeling lacking in it) you want to make an improvement. For example, if you are comparing yourself on someone’s skill of being super organized, instead of showing any negative feelings towards yourself or towards that person, work on yourself to become more organized.

There are few steps to follow for doing a constructive comparison and turning it into motivation:

  • Do not compare on things that you cannot change or improve no matter how hard you try. Accept your current state and be grateful for whatever you have.
  • Give attention to your comparison patterns by bringing awareness to it and observe what kind of feeling you are expressing while doing so.
  • Whenever you perceive someone is better at something than you are, instead of feeling jealous or envious, genuinely appreciate it.
  • Now you don’t have to pursue everything you see in others. Ask yourself what you really want in your life and the answer should come from your heart and not based on what other people are telling us to have.
  • The things you really want in your life, chase them until it becomes your reality. But always remember to be grateful for what you have now with working on it.

Destructive comparison will leave you unhappy and dissatisfied and it can only waste your time and energy which you could have used for self-development.  

Replace negative emotions of comparison with appreciation and expressing happy feelings towards the other person can help you in using this comparing thing as a motivational tool for self-improvement.

5 Benefits (Science Evidence-Based) of Having a Positive Mindset

People always link a positive mindset or attitude to being successful and happy.

Have you ever wondered what positive mindset has to do with success and health??

A lot of research is happening to understand the impact of positive attitude on various aspects of life such as physical and mental health, quality of living, longevity, productivity at work and many other things.

Before jumping into the benefits of positive mindset, let me try to explain what does it mean by having a positive attitude??

Having a positive mindset means having a mental and emotional attitude that focuses more on good things in life rather than the unpleasant things.

It means having a habit of thinking positively, trying to see best in other people, and making the best out of any circumstance you find yourself in.

It does not mean that people with a positive mindset never get negative thoughts or they ignore negative situations, instead they will develop an ability to handle negative situations in the best possible way.

Here are the major benefits of having a positive mindset:

1. Helps in Reducing Anxiety and Stress

A study conducted in UK on 102 patients (aged 18 to 65) suffering from Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) shows a significant decrease in anxiety level of these patients after consciously thinking positive for one month.

These patients were asked to do some task that arouses positive thinking and they were also asked to replace their worry with positive outcomes.

2. Improves Productivity at Work

The Fasa University of Medical Science, A Hospital in Iran conducted a study on 100 nurses working in the hospital to check the impact of positive thinking on their quality of work.

Participants nurses were divided into two groups – Group A (50 nurses) and Group B (50 nurses).

Positive thinking encouraging messages were sent to only Group A in their smartphones for a period of 3 months.

Results: Group A shows noticeably improved quality of work compared to Group B.

3. Contribute to Enhancing Life Satisfaction

A telephonic survey conducted on 409 participants in Korea shows positive attitude plays an indispensable role in stimulating a feeling of contentment and significantly contributes to improving life satisfaction.

4. Improves Immunity

Universitas Airlangga (University in Indonesia) published an article which involves a review of research data on the immune system from 1995 to 2017, that says positive attitude has a significant impact on improving human immune responses and helps the body in building resistance to various diseases.

5. Better Health and Longer Life

A mortality surveillance study was conducted in the USA on 180 nuns aged between 75 to 95 for a period of 9 years to understand the impact of positive attitude on longevity.

They studied autobiographies written by these nuns when they joined the congregation 6 decades ago and categorized them into positive, negative, and neutral based on the content written in it.

Autobiographies fall into positive category shows, having a positive attitude in early life decreases the risk of mortality and strongly associated with a healthy and longer life.

How Gratitude Plays an Important Role in Leading Happy Life

We frequently hear about how being grateful can change your life from many motivational speakers and authors all around. How you can make your life entirely blissful by incorporating the practice of gratitude in your daily routine. How it can help you from improving your relationships to decreasing stress levels to your quality of sleep and many other endless things.

So, what is Gratitude??

A lot of people think gratitude is only saying “thank you” but it is a lot more than just that. Gratitude is an emotion/feeling for expression of joy which comes from appreciation and thankfulness. It can also be described as a personality trait, an attitude, mood or way of living. It is natural to feel grateful when life is too good, and things are happening the way we wanted them to be, but it is very difficult when we are in a situation which we do not want, or we are desiring something we don’t yet have.

Expressing gratitude is the most effective method of producing feelings of happiness. When you feel truly grateful your brain releases some hormones which will make you feel more peaceful, less reactive, and less resistant. Many scientific studies show gratitude can transform your brain by changing the molecular structure of your brain which helps it to function in a better way, strengthens your immunity system and keeps us healthier and happier.

Regular practice of gratitude can make a huge difference in your way of living life and encourages positive emotions, make you feel more alive, and adds more compassion and kindness into your personality. Thus, the feeling of gratitude should not be restricted to only glorious moments and we should make it as a habit.  

How we can make gratitude a habit

There are no shortcuts for having this wonderful habit and the only way to cultivate an attitude of gratitude is by practicing it consistently with a lot of patience.

Here are a few simple ways to practice gratitude:

  • Gratitude Journal: Keep a gratitude journal to write down a list of things you are grateful in life. Do this once or twice in a day and try to list things as many as possible. Feel grateful from your heart for each thing you are listing in it rather than merely saying thank you.
  • Meditation: A very powerful tool to calm your mind and it will help you to focus on the positive side of life.        
  • Set Reminders in your Phone: It might sound silly to constantly reminding yourself to feel grateful, but when you will practice it, being thankful become easy.
  • Spend time with your loved ones/family and friends and express gratitude for everything they do for you.
  • Let go of your past and anxiety of the future and focus on what you are doing right now.
  • Be kind to yourself- Focus on self-care and be thankful for everything your body and mind do for you.

You may have many reasons to feel disappointed and worried but if you consciously choose to be grateful regardless of the situation, you can change your life for the better and you will able to lead a happy life.