The Tangible Benefits Of Forgiveness

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By Tom Jacobs

As we age, the physical world starts to come across as a less-friendly place. As our body’s limitations become more obvious and pronounced, hills appear to be steeper, and distances seem longer than they once did.

Well, recently published research suggests a simple way to lessen that will-sapping perception of difficulty, allowing us to access reserves of strength we didn’t know we had. It simply involves thinking about someone who has wronged you — and forgiving them.

“The benefits of forgiveness may go beyond the constructive consequences that have been established in the psychological and health domains,” writes a research team led by Michelle Zheng of Erasmus University’s Rotterdam School of Management. “Our research shows that forgivers perceive a less daunting world, and perform better on challenging physical tasks.”

“A state of unforgiveness is like carrying a heavy burden — a burden that victims bring with them when they navigate the physical world,” they add. “Forgiveness can lighten this burden.”

In the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, Zheng and her colleagues describe two studies. In the first, 46 undergraduates were recruited to participate in two ostensibly unrelated experiments.

Half of them began by writing about “a time when —> Read More Here


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