By Alice Boyd
A new study from the Erasmus University in Holland, has found harbouring a grudge could be hindering your physical performance. Still imagine your ex’s face on a punching bag every time you hit up a boxing session? Or beating a school yard bully in a race to the top of the hill. Science suggests that a lack of forgiveness could actually be holding you back.
Dutch researchers conducted a number of fitness tests to determine if holding a grudge could physically hold you back during a workout.
Study participants who were more inclined to forgive jumped higher and saw hills as less steep in comparison to others. Maintaining the rage has long been used as a motivational tool for attaining physical goals, but what if letting it go is actually the key to reaching peak performance?
The research team lead by Xue Zheng believe that holding a grudge is a burden and forgiveness may lighten the physical burden of a grudge, providing evidence that forgiveness can help victims overcome the negative effects of conflict.
Ever felt the urge to take a run after a fight about the dishes? Decompressing your anger before engaging in physical activity could be the catalyst needed to increase your athletic prowess in addition to finding peace of mind.
According to the science, “in the aftermath of conflict, forgiveness improves victims’ well-being and the victim-offender relationship.”
Being at peace has long been touted as essential for emotional wellbeing. Now there’s evidence that berating ourselves about an extra slice of cake won’t help us reach our fitness goals any faster. Instead we should drop the bitterness if we want to drop the kilojoules.
So next time the bus cuts you off in traffic on the way to bootcamp, let it go and wish the driver well. It may make the next hour go by faster. After all, looking trim, taut and terrific is possibly the best revenge.
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