To err is human, to forgive is smarter—at least this is what studies suggest. Growing evidence shows that those inclined to forgive enjoy better physical and mental health than those prone to hold grudges.
In a recent study, adults were asked to use either forgiving or unforgiving imagery as they thought about someone that had wronged them. Those thinking “no mercy” experienced a significant rise in heart rate and blood pressure while their moods worsened. Those who imagined showing forgiveness had healthier vital statistics—and who knows how much more peace of mind.
Do you have emotional intelligence? Use these five skills to get the most out of “E.I.”
• Self-awareness You are able to place attention on your emotions, recognizing feelings as they occur and then discriminate between them.
• Mood management You’re able to live an emotional life without being anesthetized or hijacked by it. Avoid being paralyzed by depression or worry, or swept away by anger.
• Self-motivation You effectively persist in channeling your impulses in pursuit of your goal. This builds resiliency.
• Empathy You recognize feelings in others and tune into their verbal and nonverbal cues. You know how to “walk in their shoes.”
• Managing relationships You handle feelings in relationships with commitment, honesty and an open heart to lead toward negotiation, resolution of conflict and harmony.
MARY BETH JANSSEN is a certified mind-body health educator for the Chopra Center for Well Being and author of five books. Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.