At one time or another, all of us have been victims of life's injustices. It may be:

* The husband or boyfriend who leaves you brokenhearted
* The boss who treats you unfairly
* The girlfriend who betrayed a trust
* The coworker who lied to get the promotion you were hoping for

Most times, we get over it after a little time has passed.

Hurting Yourself

When you hang on to the grudges and bad feelings, you are hurting yourself more than anyone else. The underlying hurt and anger you're feeling can eventually affect your work performance, your relationships, and even your own happiness.

Besides just making your unhappy, holding on to grievances can lead to depression, anxiety, wrinkles, heart disease and a whole host of other physical problems that can drain the health and happiness right out of your life.

Studies show that people who held grudges had higher blood pressure readings which actually spiked when they were recalling stories of deep hurt or injustice.

The Good News is....

When you forgive you can wipe the slate clean, and stop all of these negative effects on your health!

Forgiveness doesn't have to mean that you "forget" the incident or situation. It means you acknowledge it, and choose to release bad feelings against the other person. You don't have to continue the relationship either. It simply means that in your own heart, you no longer resent that person's transgressions against you, and then move on.

Learning to Forgive

How to you learn to do this? It may feel like you are "giving in" if even turning the other cheek. We need to realize that there is a difference between reconciliation and forgiveness. You are not reconciling with the other person, but merely releasing your resentment against them in your own heart.

A Gift You Give to Yourself

It may be easier if you think of it as giving a gift to ourselves. When we stop harboring resentment, we will be the ones to reap the benefits of the release of stress, anxiety, and anger, and we will be the ones to gain peace of mind, happiness and health.

Here are some steps you can take to start releasing the hurt:

* Live in the present. Put the past behind you, don't worry about the future. Try to live in the moment as much as possible. All we really have is right now. Don't waste it holding grudges.
* Choose to be happy, rather than being right. You may be justified in your feeling that you were wronged, but will that make you happy? Probably not. What will make you happy is releasing the unforgiving thoughts and letting go of the past.
* Keep it private. You don't need to actually speak to the person who wronged you, or renew any relationship you once had. Simply deciding to stop resenting them and releasing the hurt and anger in your own heart is all you need to do.
* Write it down. Sometimes writing down your feelings and thoughts can actually help you release them. Writing down how you feel and why you are feeling that way can help you to "get it all out", so eventually you will be able to release the hurt and move on.

You owe it to yourself start releasing the hurt. Remember...

Forgiveness is a Gift you Give to Yourself

and one of the best ways towards a healthier, happier life.

Author's Bio: 

Katie Hayes writes about health and fitness topics. Read more about forgiveness, positive thinking and wellness at