Does an unforgiving nature truly impact your health ?
Yes, indeed. We need to forgive, if we want to be physically and mentally healthy.
Forgiveness is associated with several benefits such as improved psychological well-being, physical health and longevity. It serves as a protective factor that buffers against poor health and psychological conditions.
Now here’s what happens to your physical body biologically when you get angry:
1. Every time we get angry, our body produces a chemical (“Crazy Chemical” – apologies for not recalling the scientific name) that goes up in number.
2. The Crazy Chemical enters our cells, further into our DNA and begins making different proteins that literally destroy us. When we calm down, the Crazy Chemical goes back down in number.
3. In a Concussion, within 3 minutes – our blood brain barrier opens up, within 7 minutes, our gut barrier opens up and the actual volume of the brain also shrinks. Guess what, emotional trauma does the same thing. Cultivate forgiveness to ensure your brain size stays intact.
4. In your DNA, there are genes that we don’t want to express. Like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s. Think of it like a grenade. We want to keep the pin on the grenade. When the Crazy Chemical shoots up in number, the pin comes out of the grenade and we are at risk of the genes in our DNA like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s to express themselves.
5. Every time you experience stress, that stressful experience sensitises the cells in our nervous system, the muscles, the gut and the immune system.
Forgiveness can escalate creativity of the brain
A few years ago scientists studied the brains of some of the most remarkable brains across the globe including billionaires, creatives, monks, intuitives and mystics (source: The Code of the Extraordinary Mind by Vishen Lakhiani).
These people were taken through meditation techniques used in a programme called “40 years of Zen”. They were hooked up to some of the most cutting-edge specialised biofeedback equipment to measure brain waves. The equipment traced the brain waves that hummed different sounds depending on the production of varied brain waves.
1. Alpha waves are associated with high creativity, compassion ,insight, forgiveness and love;
2. Theta waves correlates with flashes of creativity and intuition and
3. Delta waves associates with altering reality.
The big secret that the scientists discovered was that in order to increase alpha waves, one factor helped tremendously, and that was Forgiveness. They came to a conclusion that holding on to grudges and anger is the single biggest factor in suppressing alpha waves.
In a nutshell, just by getting angry or by continuing to silently seethe within:
1. You are at risk of expressing your Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s genes
2. You are at risk of shrinking your brain size
3. You are at risk of experiencing deterioration in your gut and immune system
4. You are at an increased risk of heart disease
5. You are at an increased risk for diabetes
6. You have an increased risk to develop post-traumatic stress disorder
A talk by Dr Veera Gupta on the science of emotional health on Mind Valley is a complete eye opener for those who find it difficult to believe in concepts of spirituality including forgiveness. It is incredible how literally every single universal principle that spirituality propagates has a nexus to science. Her book “Built from Stardust” is due to be released on October 2021.
In the book ‘the happiness advantage, beyond happiness and big potential’ by Shawn Achor, a Harvard researcher states that “when the brain is in a positive state, productivity rises by 31%. Intelligence, creativity and memory – all improve dramatically.”
Free your brain up from the negativity and give a chance for more positivity, creativity and intelligence to take space.
Disrupt the mindset that causes your inabilities to forgive manifest any further
In the book, “ the Buddha and the Badass by Vishen Lakhiani, the author quoted an age-old flea in the jar experiment, where a team of scientists placed a flea community in a glass jar with no lid. Since a flea’s favourite hobby is high jumping, with no seal, all of them jumped out. The scientist then placed the fleas back in the jar and sealed it with a lid. The fleas continued to jump but now only up to the height of the lid. After several days, when the scientist took the lid off, they were shocked to find that the fleas now only jumped to the height of the lid even though they ceiling had been uncapped.
I would like to give the human species the benefit of doubt of being more advanced and intelligent than fleas ! But Alas, we are undoubtedly subject to the same kind of conditioning. We are often limited by the invisible lid that restricts our beliefs and ends up casting distinct lines between the possible and impossible.
Remove that invisible lid, break that barrier and see the possibilities just this one act of forgiveness can bring into your lives.
I am no science freak nor am I a scientist. I am just trying my best to convince as many people as possible that forgiveness is imperative for a healthy life, mentally and physically.
It is truly transformational.
Transform, to experience a radical shift in your way of thinking, feeling and acting. It is indeed a conscious effort but it will dramatically and irreversibly alter your way of being in the world. And it will have a compounding effect on your life.
Choose the logic that suits you, spiritual or scientific as long as it leads you to the road of forgiveness. It is all about harnessing your thoughts and trying to train your mind.
Coming up: Part III
Transcript and audio for a (spiritual) forgiveness meditation that will take you all of 5 minutes a day, to transform your life.
Transcript and audio for another forgiveness meditation. This will be for all those who may yet not be convinced with the theories on karma and journey of the souls.
I urge you to also read Part I of this blog, in case you already haven’t.