Why Holding a Grudge is Bad for You (and How to Let it Go for Good)

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Science-backed ways to move on.

Holding a grudge increases stress, heightens blood pressure, creates facial tension and even causes you to sweat more, says research conducted by Hope College in the US. Learn to let go with these science-backed strategies…

Quit the constant vent sessions

One of the first steps in letting go is to talk less harshly about the offence and the offender, suggests the Stanford Forgiveness Project – a series of research papers that studied the ‘stress cycle’ caused by holding a grudge. When using kinder language to talk about an incident, it reduced people’s stress levels and sense of victimisation.

Swap swear jars for ‘thank you’ jars

Have a ‘gratitude jar’ in your office to encourage employees to appreciate each other and the benefits of working in that environment, says business coach Denise Chilton. After 45 days of enforced gratitude, you can reprogram your brain to focus on the good, according to Loretta Graziano Breuning, author of Habits of a Happy Brain.

Don’t ‘should’ all over each other

Tony Robbins explains that we hold grudges because we get caught up on how others ‘should’ have acted in a situation. “If you want to be stressed, all you have to do is expect life and all the people in it to think, behave, speak and act the way you have predetermined they should,” he says. Instead, realise people did the best they could with the tools they had.

Read More: The Only Thing You Need to Know About Stress

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