Forgive yourself, according to science

494333914_1280x720You’re not always the best version of yourself. With stress, bad days, complex relationships, and ignorance, sometimes you kind of… suck. And that’s okay. We all do sometimes. But the guilt and shame that comes with it can eat away at you.

Self-forgiveness isn’t the simple task it’s often made out to be on self-help blogs though. According to psychological studies, forgiving yourself can even serve as a crutch, helping to relieve your anguish without actually making amends.

So how do you forgive yourself the healthy way? According to Greater Good Magazine, it’s achieved by following these four steps:

1.    Don’t get rid of guilt

It’s normal and healthy to feel bad about something you did wrong. Within reason. Listen to it, accept it, and don’t diminish or magnify it.

2.    Own up to your faults

Forgiveness means there must be something to forgive. Accept when you’ve done wrong and own it. You may not always be perfect, but your best self is at least honest about it.

3.    Make amends

The best forgiveness is the kind you’ve earned. Ask the other person what you can do to make amends, or if this isn’t feasible, do something (like charity work) to redeem yourself.

4.    Foster empathy

Self-forgiveness shouldn’t mean losing empathy for the victim. Doing the right thing means showing compassion for both of you. Always.

Relationships can be complicated. So, sometimes it isn’t as easy as saying you’re sorry and being forgiven. However you decide approach it, stay honest and focus on the positive.

Good luck!

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