Story by: Maggie Roetker on October 31, 2019
Do you hold a grudge? If you do, you might want to think about letting go for the sake of your health.
Author Megan Feldman Bettencourt, the October 2019 speaker at the Norton Healthcare Go Confidently series, spoke of the effects anger and resentment can have on your health.
“We know that when we’re holding a grudge, when we’re angry, when we’re resentful over a long period of time, every time we think about that person or that event, we’re flooding our brains with stress chemicals,” Megan said. “Over time, what that does is, first of all, increases blood pressure.
“And it also really impacts our brains. So what happens is little by little, those stress chemicals impede the frontal lobe’s ability to solve problems. And the other thing it does it make us more likely to be depressed and anxious.”
That stress can lead to health issues.
“We know that some people, when stressed, depressed or anxious, may be more likely to do things such as overeat, not exercise, or smoke or drink more,” said Renée V. Girdler, M.D., family medicine physician with Norton Community Medical Associates – Crestwood. “In addition to a rise in blood pressure from the stress alone, these behaviors lead to an increased risk for heart disease.”
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Monday, March 23, 6 to 8 p.m. at The Olmsted.
Stress also can lead to more immediate issues that affect your life.
“Some people may have a headache, stomach issues or chest pain, or even have difficulty sleeping,” Dr. Girdler said.
If you’re holding that grudge and have high stress, you might want to learn to forgive.
According to the Go Confidently speaker, people who are good at forgiving are committed to it. They also share three key habits:
“The definition of forgiving is to release resentment,” Megan said. “You can release resentment and have a relationship with someone, or you can release resentment and never speak to that person again. There’s a lot of freedom in that.”
According to Megan, when you forgive, you often feel as if a literal weight has been lifted. This can make you feel more energetic. Being in touch spiritually also can make you feel as if you’re part of something larger than yourself.
“It just has to meaningful and purposeful for you,” Megan said.
Do you need to practice forgiveness? Here are three steps Megan suggests:
Go Confidently, held several times a year, is meant to inspire and motivate people to be the best versions of themselves. It is presented by the Norton Healthcare Foundation and Caretenders.
Select an appointment date and time from available spots listed below.