What Is Forgiveness? Forgiveness is the release of resentment or anger. Forgiveness doesn’t mean reconciliation. One doesn't have to return to the same relationship or accept the same harmful behaviors from an offender.
Forgiveness is vitally important for the mental health of those who have been victimized. It propels people forward rather than keeping them emotionally engaged in an injustice or trauma. Forgiveness has been shown to elevate mood, enhance optimism, and guard against anger, stress, anxiety, and depression.
Carrying the hurt or anger of an offense leads the body to release stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. Eliminating the perpetual flow of those hormones may also explain why forgiveness provides physical health benefits, such as lowering the risk of high blood pressure and heart problems.
There are scenarios in which forgiveness is not the best course. Sometimes a victim of sexual abuse becomes more empowered when they give themselves permission not to forgive.
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