I was reviewing a recent study that was done in North America where participants were hooked up to an EEG (electroencephalography) machine that monitors brain waves. Their brain waves were tracked while they were sleeping, meditating, practicing a mindfulness exercise and (here’s what I thought was interesting) practicing forgiveness.
There was much that was fascinating about the study and certainly meditation and mindfulness are very powerful for achieving higher levels of consciousness. But the information that was collected as a result of simply forgiving was astounding!
The Benefits of Forgiveness
Let me explain. The research showed that when the participants completed an act of forgiveness (I’ll outline below), the benefits were limitless – the body showed less stress, better circulation, heart patterns evened out, as well as improved psychological wellbeing as participants reported greater feelings of openness, increased compassion and happiness.
During the forgiveness practice, the EEG tracking showed heightened Alpha levels. High Alpha levels are correlated to faster healing, greater abilities in problem solving and creativity, and greater neuroplasticity meaning you can change old thought patterns faster!
Of course that excites me because my commitment to you is to bring you the best information on the power of your mind. I want you to experience higher alpha brain waves so you can more easily change those old thought patterns.
So here is an exercise for you. The rule is that you can forgive anything, even yourself and only you have to forgive, the other party does not.
- Identify the person or act to forgive.
- Create a safe space for you to be in for the next 15-30 minutes. No interruptions.
- Take a few deep breaths to get calm and centered.
- In your mind’s eye, state the charges, “I forgive you for… ” Be in the emotion for 2 minutes maximum. Feel the pain, anger or sadness.
- Think of what you learned from the event. (Maybe you let go of your power, or you assumed too much, or you didn’t trust your instincts.)
- Think about how the other person may have been hurt in the past. Hurt people hurt people. They are human.
- Forgive into Love. In your mind’s eye, hug and forgive them into love or release from their suffering or hurt.
- After you forgive, check in with yourself to see if you have totally forgiven. If not, start at step one again, repeat the process until you can feel the relief.
If you are forgiving yourself for something you did, or many things you did, go through each event, one by one. It’s worth it to clear all those thoughts and brain patterns tied up in something from the past. It may sound something like, “I forgive myself for not making a decision sooner. I didn’t know all I know now and I made the best decision I could based on what I knew then. I’ve learned that it is always worth it to take a moment to reflect and check in with my instincts and wisdom on the matter. My thoughts and feelings matter.”
When we forgive into love, we release the judgment and resentment. Our emotions are released and we can evolve from this position. Otherwise, hanging on to resentments batters our bodies and minds.
I want to take you back to the study for a moment. After a follow-up 30 days later, the participants reported a greater sense of inner peace and resiliency to negativity in their surroundings.
We are living in times where we all must dig deep and be proactive in acts of kindness and love. The power of forgiveness is worth taking note, don’t you think? Try it out and let me know how it goes. Share your experiences below. I do reply 🙂