Forgiveness was evaluated sing a Liker scale. Mental health measures were also taken. These measures covered depression, anxiety, and perceived stress. Physical health was also accounted for. These measures focused on blood pressure and heart rate. Forgiveness was self-reported in addition to perceived stress, anxiety, and depression. Higher levels of forgiveness were associated with lower levels of anxiety, depression, and perceived stress. Blood pressure and heart rate was also low in people who scored high on the forgiveness scale.
Key. Fords: Forgiveness, depression, anxiety, stress, blood pressure, heart rate Forgiveness is often traced back to religion and spirituality, although differing across various cultures.
Christianity had deemed interpersonal forgiveness as the centerpiece of the religion. Judaism and Islam consider interpersonal forgiveness a virtue, though the concept is less salient than with Christianity. Hinduism and Buddhism see interpersonal forgiveness as important, but do not view it as a pillar of their religion (Worthington, 1999).
The definition of forgiveness is vague, but is usually defined as a cognitive, emotional, and behavioral response to interpersonal conflict.
It has been linked to both mental and physical indices of health. It is expressed as the reciprocal to hostility, anger, anxiety, and depression (Lawyer, Younger, Prefer, Job, Edmondson, & Jones, 2005). Although there is some debate over the definition of forgiveness, it is unanimous that forgiveness is not pardoning, excusing, condoning, denying forgetting, or reconciliation (Harris, Illus., Norman, Standard, Burning, Evans, & Theories, 2006).
In order to successfully forgive, one must feel the emotion while letting go of the anger. Forgiveness may not be a static personality characteristic but a dynamic indecency that may follow different developmental trajectories (McFarland, Smith, Toasting, & Thomas, 2012). Forgiveness is a complicated process, which Can potentially increase the quality and quantity of one’s life. Forgiveness allows a person to let go of angry feelings toward people, which can benefit a person’s mental and physiological health. Dry.
Orrin’s describes forgiveness as a healthy alternative to anger (Lewis & Adler, 2004). There are many variables that play a role in forgiveness and its effect on health. Spirituality, social skills, negative emotions, and perceived stress all have a huge effect on health, both mental ND physical (Lawyer, Younger, Prefer, Job, Edmondson, & Jones, 2005). Forgiveness is known to reduce stress caused by different emotions such as anger, 4 bitterness, hostility, hatred, resentment, and the fear of being hurt again. The health effects of forgiveness are clear and evident.
It reduces the amount of chronic blaming, hostility, and anger. It also slows down the sympathetic nervous system, which prevents hyper arousal and allocates load. It increases the optimism and positive self-evaluative thoughts as well as self-efficacy. The social and emotional support is also increased tenfold through the use of rigidness (McFarland, Smith, Toasting, & Thomas, 2012). Overall forgiveness has many emotional benefits, making life and overall happier, more rewarding experience (Hallowed, 2004).
In addition to the mental health Of the person, these negative emotions have physiological health consequences. The failure to forgive can lead to increased blood pressure, hormonal changes, and cardiovascular disease (Fridge, Succeed, & Shells, 2007). The immune system can also be compromised as a result of holding a grudge. It could also cause possible impairment of neurological function and Emory (Lawyer, 2008). The inclusion of forgiveness in everyday practices promotes positive psychology and positive emotions.
Empathy, compassion and affection become more prevalent and are used more in people that are able to forgive (Fridge, Succeed, & Shells, 2007). Forgiveness also lessens the susceptibility to a heart attack or stroke, as well as headaches, backaches, and neck pains. Forgiveness also plays a huge role in interpersonal relationships. It can help create strong social networks, which is known to be positively correlated with good health (Lewis & Adler, 2004).
Interpersonal Forgiving is defined, “As the set of motivational changes whereby one becomes (a) decreasingly motivated to retaliate against an offending relationship partner, (b) decreasingly motivated to maintain estrangement from the offender, and (c) increasingly motivated by conciliation and goodwill for the offender, despite the offender’s hurtful actions”(McCullough, Worthington, & Racial, 1997). 5 Dry. Edward M. Hallowed, a Harvard psychiatrist and the author of ‘Dare to Forgive” states that forgiveness goes against a natural human tendency to seek revenge and the redress of injustice.
He recommends embracing forgiveness with the help of others, whether it is friends, a therapist, or prayer (Hallowed, 2004). Confucius once said, “if you devote your life to seeking revenge, first dig TVВ»’0 graves. ” Method Participants Participants were middle-aged adults (N=1 50; 88 female, 62 male; M age=34. 3, SD=4. 61) living in Middletown, a middle class suburban area located in central New Jersey and received 5 dollars for every hour contributed to the study. Participants included 108 White Americans, 10 Asian Americans, 22 African Americans, and 10 Hispanic Americans.
Seven people were excluded room the analysis because of incomplete responses. Measures Measures were taken prior to meeting with the researchers. Forgiveness. In order to assess trait forgiveness participants were also given the Forgiving Personality Inventory (UP; Jones et al. , 2002) It contained 33 items, such as, “I tend to be a forgiving person,” and “I tend to hold grudges,” to which the participant responds on a point Liker scale from strongly disagree to strongly agree. The scale has demonstrated adequate reliability. Validity has also been shown through correlations with other measures of forgiveness (CITE).
Physical Health. Physical health was measured using the Cohen-Hofmann Inventory of Physical Symptoms (CHIPS; Cohen & Hofmann, 1983). It assesses 40 common physical ailments that often lead to the seeking of health care. Participants are required to rate how 6 frequently various physical symptoms have been evident over the past month (such as back pain, headache, nausea, etc. ). The 4-point Liker-type scale ranges from “not at all a part of my life” to ‘Very much a part of my life. ” This scale has been shown to have high reliability. Depression and anxiety. Depression and anxiety were assessed using the Hospital Anxiety and
Depression Scale (Sigmoid & Snails, 1983). It is a 14 item Liker-type scale, designed to measure symptoms and severity of anxiety and depression among individuals. Each item is rated on a four-point Liker scale. Seven items measure the presence of depression, and seven items measure the presence of anxiety. This scale possessed high reliability and high validity when used in previous studies. Stress. Stress was measured using the Perceived Stress Scale (Cohen, Gimcrack, & Imperilment, 1 983), a ten-item scale that assesses the degree of stress in individuals’ life experiences.
It was measured as stressful on a five- point Liker scale. Higher scores indicate greater levels of stress. According to past studies this scale has high reliability as well as adequate validity. Demographics. The Demographics form asked participants to self-report on their age, sex, and ethnic background. Procedure Each participant came to the laboratory for interviews. They were asked to read about the study and complete the various questionnaires ahead of time including the informed consent form. The participants were then prepared for the measurement of blood pressure and heart rate.
Individuals were given 5-minute rest period while watching an irrelevant video of a beach scene. During the videotaped interview, the participant was asked to recall and describe a time when a friend or significant other betrayed them. The interview included 10 questions about the 7 event itself and 10 questions about the person who committed the betrayal. The participants were then given a 5-minute recovery period. Physiological measurements were measured noninvasive. Blood Pressure and heart rate were measured using a Creation Dynamic Vital Signs Monitor, Model SEXES (Johnson and Johnson, Tampa, FL).
A blood pressure cuff was laced on the participant’s arm and measured. Systolic, diastolic, mean arterial pressure, and heart rate were recorded. Cardiovascular function was also measured: mean arterial pressure (MAP) and rate-pressure product (RIP). These measures reflect average blood pressure levels and basic sympathetic drive to the heart (RIP=(SSP x HER)/1 00); Capitol & Tsarina’s, 1990; Schneider et al. R 1989; Shedder et al. , 1993). The participants were then given a debriefing form and their compensation. A follow up survey was mailed to each participant two years later.
This survey asked individuals to elf-report on whether or not they have been betrayed recently. The participants were then asked to take the Perceived Stress Scale (Cohen, Gimcrack, & Imperilment, 1 983), and send back their responses. If the stress level was deemed high they asked the participants were asked to come back in for more testing of cardiovascular function. Results The hypothesis was supported. Discussion This study was aimed at finding the correlation between forgiveness and health. It was proven that forgiveness directly influences both physical and mental health.
Higher levels of forgiveness were associated with lowered bevels of anxiety, depression, and stress. As expected, forgiveness was associated with less cardiovascular risk. Cardiovascular function was studied by looking at heart rate and blood pressure, and the fluctuation before and after forgiveness. The 8 study is consistent with prior studies that have looked at the correlates of forgiveness. Forgiveness is associated with better physical health and health habits. It has been suggested that forgiveness protects against chronic stress and decreases allocates load, which reduced cardiovascular risk (Fridge Succeed, & Shells, 2007).
Limitations for this study include the failure to recognize additional variables when accounting for negative health effects. Although forgiveness had an effect on depression, anxiety, stress, heart rate, and blood pressure, there is no proven correlation of depression, anxiety, and stress to the heart rate and blood pressure (Fridge, Succeed, & Shells, 2007). Participants also may have failed to self-report honestly on forgiveness, depression, anxiety, and stress. People often have the tendency to score themselves higher when put into an experimental setting.
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