LIsten to Podcast: #Conquering Depression: Step 9- Forgiveness Lowers Depression, Blood Pressure, and Pain.
Many individuals live by a “fight or flight,” response in regards to resentment toward their family members, ex-lovers, friends, co-workers, employers, politicians, or the government. They adopt a constant vigilant stance and are armed sometimes physically for a fight.
It may be our Second Amendment right, but when you go to a suburban McDonald’s with your family and you’re packing, beware that there are also some emotional and physical ramifications to your choices that affect not only you but the next generation.
#Karen Swartz, M.D., director of the #Mood Disorders Adult Consultation Clinic at the #Johns Hopkins Hospital, states, “There is an enormous physical burden to being hurt and disappointed. Chronic anger puts you into a fight-or-flight mode, which results in numerous changes in heart rate, blood pressure, and immune system. Those changes, then, increase the risk of depression, heart disease, and diabetes, among other conditions. Forgiveness, however, calms stress levels, leading to improved health.”
Is it getting to the point where packing a piece will become the norm? Suggestions have been made for teachers to carry guns. Who’s next—ministers, doctors, lawyers? Why not kids? Shouldn’t they be able to protect themselves from the school bully?
When we choose to live in this era of stand your ground, many individuals are also choosing to shorten their lives by always being on the defense and refusing to give others the benefit of the doubt, offer empathy, and offering forgiveness.
Dr. Swartz recommends that we practice forgiveness if we want to live a long healthy and happy life. She defines forgiveness as, “An active process in which you make a conscious decision to let go of negative feelings whether the person deserves it or not.” I agree with Dr. Swartz that forgiveness isn’t just words but actions. True forgiveness for me is demonstrated by the actions of the Good Samaritan.
What would he do today? I think he would volunteer to help at-risk youth, addicts, the homeless, unwed mothers, etc. I think forgiveness is best shown when we teach someone to fish for a lifetime. If we do that then we can end the cycle of poverty, generational abuse, dysfunction, addiction, and depression. What have you done for someone lately that will make a positive difference in the world?
Do this in remembrance of me. 1 Corinthians 11:25