Six steps to forgiveness

Almost anyone can learn to forgive – if you are finding it difficult however, these tips should help.

When someone has hurt you, it can be difficult to forgive them for their actions. You may feel that by forgiving them, you are condoning their actions and saying ‘it is OK to do that’. This is not the case, and holding onto that anger will only hinder your happiness.

Forgiveness is a way of freeing yourself and regaining control. Keep reading for some steps you can take to forgive:

1. Understand your feelings about the situation and why you are hurt

Having a clear understanding of your feelings surrounding the situation is an important first step. Try to talk to someone about the experience and give yourself the headspace you need to make sense of the situation.

2. Know that forgiveness doesn’t necessarily mean reconciliation

Forgiveness doesn’t have to lead to reconciliation, the aim of forgiveness is for you to find peace. If the situation caused you severe distress and you no longer want the person in your life, forgiveness allows you to have a clean break without carrying the burden of anger.

3. Manage your stress levels

During times when anger builds or you feel upset, aim to manage your stress levels with relaxation techniques. This will keep you mentally and physically calm and therefore healthier.

4. Get some perspective

Recognise that the distress you are feeling is likely to be caused by hurt feelings you are suffering now, rather than what hurt you two minutes (or 10 years) ago. Forgiveness will help you heal those hurt feelings.

5. Seek positivity

Rather than mentally replaying your hurt, try to look for the positives in your life and actively seek things to make you happy.

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