Sunday, March 1, 2015

Would you like to give up a grudge?

Meet Dr. Fred Luskin. He holds a PhD in Health Psychology from Stanford University, and serves as director of the Stanford Forgiveness Projects, investigating the effects of forgiveness on a variety of populations. He has explored forgiveness therapy with people who suffered violence in Northern Ireland and Sierra Leone, as well as the attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11. He's a professor at Stanford's Institute of Personal Psychology, where he teaches a HEAL process of forgiveness that can lead to enhanced well-being.  His work has been reported in Time Magazine, USA Today, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Dr. Fred Luskin

Luskin has found several steps are required to give up a grudge. These include telling a few trusted friends about your grudge. Then decide to feel better, knowing forgiveness is for you and nobody else. Recognize that your primary stress comes from hurt feelings NOW, not what happened ten minutes or ten years ago. When you feel resentful, soothe your body's fight-or-flight response. Give up expecting things from other people that they do not choose to give you. Remember that you can hope for (but you cannot demand) love, friendship and prosperity. You will suffer when you demand these things, so look for other ways to get your positive goals met. Remember that a life well lived is your best revenge. Focusing on wounded feelings gives power over you to the person who caused the pain, so put more energy into appreciating what you have. Amend how you look at your past, and remember you have the heroism to forgive. For a 4-minute sample of Dr. Luskin's teaching, visit

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