Of course, we all realize the role emotions play on our physical health, but to what extent do we understand this link? Well, according to a recent study, that link may be a bit bigger than previously thought.
If you have ever been wronged by someone, then you know how painful it is. Being ‘betrayed’ will leave you upset and bitter towards the world. This is multiplied when coupled with a life-threatening illness or disease. The weight of this bitterness can and will weigh someone down like a load of bricks.
You have the situation replaying in your mind constantly and things are just not quite what they seem. Harboring overly negative emotions can cause serious issues. Staying angry does nothing but create a state of anxiety on a chronic level.
According to Dr. Michael Barry, the Director of Pastoral Care at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, forgiveness is necessary to heal physically and otherwise. He discussed this in great detail in a paper he recently wrote entitled ‘The Forgiveness Project.’
During his research, he found that over sixty percent of people trying to live with cancer were experiencing issues forgiving others. Well over half of these cases were extremely severe cases.
“Harboring these negative emotions, this anger and hatred create a state of chronic anxiety.”
“Chronic anxiety very predictably produces excess adrenaline and cortisol, which deplete the production of natural killer cells, which is your body’s food soldier in the fight against cancer.”
The excess of these things will deplete your body’s production of natural killer cells. Without the cells that are protecting you, you are making yourself sicker and allowing yourself to stay that way. Forgiveness is so important that you can literally get therapy treatment for it through the Cancer Centers.
Negative emotions can be linked with a number of different illnesses. A recent study involving women who suffered emotional abuse actually found that females who placed their focus on forgiveness had lower depression rates. They suffered less from things like anxiety and PTSD as well. These women were able to get their lives back on track much quicker.
Grudges aren’t bothering the person who wronged you at all, they are only damaging you. Let go of things you cannot change and allow yourself to work towards the future. There will be no future if you cannot forgive.