How to Forgive for Your Emotional Health

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How do you foster forgiveness and move forward despite emotional pain? Here are 3 tips you can use to accomplish forgiveness.

Forgiveness isn’t easy. The mind doesn’t easily let go of emotional hurt and pain. It’s part of our drive for self-preservation: when we keep the negative thoughts and feelings alive, they form a barrier between us and the source of the pain. Sometimes, though, self-preservation turns into self-sabotage. When we hang onto our hurt, that’s what we stay focused on.

Forgiveness is key to weakening that barrier and becoming unstuck. Use these tips to foster forgiveness and move forward despite emotional pain:

  • Know that forgiveness doesn’t mean dismissing what happened to you or even forgetting about it. Quite likely, you’ll never forget. Forgiveness is about shaping your relationship with the other person in this moment and going forward. It’s about choosing how you want your current interactions, thoughts, and feelings to be.
  • Your mind and body can only hold onto so much. Forgiveness is about deciding what you are going to hold onto right now, in each moment.
  • Reflect on your values around your relationship with someone who has hurt you. How do you want to be? What do you want the relationship to be like? Plan your actions and your thoughts accordingly. Your emotions will eventually follow suit.

When you consciously and repeatedly make that choice, you lower your barriers and open your heart and arms to the person before you now.

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Today's Question: What motivates you to forgive after you’ve been hurt? We invite you to participate by sharing your thoughts, experience, and knowledge on the HealthyPlace Facebook page.


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We'll also talk with a therapist about what to do when you feel like you are misdiagnosed and common mental illnesses that might be mistaken for another.

I hope you join us for Thursday's HealthyPlace Instagram Live. Thursday, February 18, at 4p ET / 3p CT. We welcome your comments and experiences and our guests always answer your questions. You can check out our mental health interviews playlist or watch last week's Facebook Live: After Abuse, How Do You Have a Healthy Relationship?


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On all our blogs, your comments and observations are welcomed.

Feel free to share your thoughts and comments at the bottom of any blog post. And visit the mental health blogs homepage for the latest posts.


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If you're not already, I hope you'll join us/like us on Facebook too. There are a lot of wonderful, supportive people there.


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"Give yourself another day, another chance. You will find your courage eventually. Don’t give up on yourself just yet."

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Thank you,

Community Partner Team - America's Mental Health Channel
"When you're at, you're never alone."

APA Reference
Peterson, T. (2021, February 16). How to Forgive for Your Emotional Health, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 21 from

Last Updated: February 16, 2021

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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