By Dr. Nina Radcliff
It’s Spring — and interestingly science finds that we actually get excited as we gravitate towards a time of renewal in nature and “lighter” times. For most our nation, our clocks spring forward and we enjoy lighter hours, longer; we begin shedding heavier gear for lighter outfits; and some researchers note that we tend to eat lighter and too, shift to lighter, sunnier attitudes.
And if that is not fascinating enough unto itself, two captivating studies I read a couple years ago in Social Psychology and Personality Science reported that the act of forgiving makes us lighter both emotionally and physically. In the first study, participants were separated into two groups. The first group was asked to remember and write about a time they were seriously offended by another but ultimately forgave them.
The second group was asked to remember and write about a similar time but when they couldn’t forgive and continued to hang on to the negative feelings towards the person. Following, each were asked to walk (individually) to a predetermined point at the base of a nearby hill to estimate its slant. Those who had recalled forgiving another perceived the hill to be less steep than those who had been thinking about a resentment they continued to hold. [Read more…]