Grudges Don’t Help Anyone: Find the Strength to Forgive

<b>Grudges Don’t Help   Anyone: Find the Strength to Forgive</b>“></td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – It’s her again. She puts your teeth on edge. You want to say something, but the words won’t come, so you picture an anvil falling on her head, instead.

Sound familiar? You can hardly navigate the world without ever running into conflict with another person. But carrying grudges can be destructive. In 2009, researchers at the Department of Psychology at Medical College of Georgia published a survey, which revealed that those who don’t forgive can experience more pain disorders, heart disease and stomach ulcers.

“Holding onto negativity causes harm to the one who won’t forgive,” says Dr. Matthew B. James, the president of Honolulu’s American Pacific University and the Empowerment Partnership, and a teacher of an ancient Hawaiian spiritual science, called huna.

Worse, refusing to forgive can create chains of resentment through entire communities. “When you point a finger at someone to blame them, there are always three fingers pointing back at you,” says Dr. James.

But letting go of old hurts isn’t always easy. Dr. James suggests that grudge-bearers take the following steps to find true forgiveness:

– Tell the other person that you forgive them. Don’t say that you will “forgive, but not forget” — the goal is to release negative feelings.

– Ask the other person to forgive you. Ask for forgiveness even if you believe that you did nothing wrong. “Saying, ‘I forgive you; please forgive me, too’ brings the other person into the picture and gets them actively involved,” says Dr. James.

– Have a conversation. Create enough space for you and the other person to say everything that needs to be said. Stay calm and speak in normal tones, even if you don’t like what you hear. At the end of your talk, you should feel relieved to have gotten your thoughts and feelings into the open. Give and ask for forgiveness once more.

– Move on. Ask yourself what you have learned from the situation, and use it to make better decisions in the future.

“To forgive and to never forget is to never forgive in the first place,” says Dr. James. “We owe it to ourselves to experience true forgiveness.”

For more advice or to learn about Dr. James’ teachings, visit

Refueling the Tanks: Learning to Value Time Off

<b>Refueling the Tanks: Learning to Value Time Off</b>“></td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Why do many Americans suffer from burnout, reduced productivity, diminished creativity, failed relationships, stress, depression, heart disease and stomach ulcers? The answer may be as simple as a failure to rest and relax.

America’s puritanical work ethic emphasizes effort and extra hours, but overscheduling can destroy creativity, not to mention mental and physical health. Consider Denmark, the world’s happiest country, according to independent studies from the University of Leicester and the University of Michigan. Danish workers receive 31 days of paid vacation each year — the most in the world.

American workers, on average, only accumulate 10 paid vacation days per year, which many employees skip. According to a Harris Interactive research group, Americans failed to take 438 million paid vacation days in 2007.

Working nonstop doesn’t make workers more productive. Instead, it hurts effectiveness. Relaxation clears frenetic energy from minds and bodies, dramatically improving mood and attitude. Taking time off helps workers regain their bearings, so that, when they return to work, they feel more focused and productive.

Darren Hardy, publisher and editorial director of SUCCESS Magazine, offers these tips to Americans who need to recharge their batteries:

* Rephrase “time off.” If you can’t handle the idea of taking time off, call your down time something else. Hardy calls his time off “Rejuvenation Time,” which sounds purposeful, productive and worthwhile.

* Schedule time for yourself. Mark vacation time on your calendar, then treat it like an unmoveable appointment with Oprah or the Queen of England. When you do take time off, turn off your e-mail and Blackberries.

* Declare when you’re going on vacation. Tell everyone what your doing and that you won’t be available.

* Measure your time off. Measure the number of times you eat dinner with you family, take naps, meditate, read for pleasure, watch movies and engage in activities that you enjoy. If you only have fun every once in awhile, concentrate on building more time for yourself into your busy schedule.

For more tips about balancing your work and personal life, visit