ZeeNews.com -??Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, have discovered that people who let go of their anger and forgive were less likely to see spikes in blood pressure. That’s good news, the researchers say, because longer periods of high blood pressure or hypertension increase the risk of heart attack or stroke.
The study, published in the Journal of Biobehavioural Medicines, found that forgiveness could “lower reactivity” to stressful events and even offer “sustained protection” from the physical impact.
The study asked over 200 volunteers to think about a time when a friend had offended them. Half of the group were told to think about how it had angered them while the other half were encouraged to consider it in a more forgiving way.
The participants were then all distracted for five minutes after which they were told to think about the event again in any way they chose.
The participants were wired up to monitors, which took blood pressure and heart rate readings. The team, led by Dr Britta Larsen, found the angry group saw the greatest increase in blood pressure compared to the forgiving group after the first ruminating session.