How Forgiveness Unlocks Your Mind And Body

The science behind why you need to forgive and not hold grudges

Victor Mong
7 min readJul 25, 2022


Photo by Liza Summer

Stories of forgiveness are ubiquitous — a father forgives the man involved in his son’s death, or the mother forgives the people who murdered her daughter.

From time to time, we hear stories of people forgiving those who have wronged them in the most unkind ways. And we struggle to understand why people who have been mistreated choose to forgive their offenders.

Take the story of an Iranian mother, Samereh Alinejad.

Samerah, along with hundreds of Iranians, had gathered near the prison where her son’s killer Bilal Abdullah, was to be executed.

Abdullah murdered her son in a street feud.

But a few minutes before the execution, Samerah moved through the crowd to where her transgressor was to be killed and slapped him across the face as she burst into tears.

It was like all the rage in her heart vanished and she asked to remove the noose around his neck.

There, she spared the life of her son’s murderer and Abdullah was set free.

Why do we forgive people who have hurt us? Why do we forgive and accept back a partner who mistreated us?

Forgiveness, like in Samerah’s case, might seem hard to explain. It might even look foolish.

Our society tends to see forgiveness as a sign of weakness. And in many cases, we would rather stigmatize or denigrate our offenders than forgive them.

Yet, no matter how hard it is, forgiving those who offended, hurt, or mistreated you instead of harboring grudges against them is how you unlock your mind and set yourself free.

Forgiveness isn’t just about getting rid of the negative emotions of an offense. When you forgive, you also become less inclined to retaliate against or remain estranged from the person who wronged you.

It can be incredibly difficult to forgive. It takes strength and humility. But that’s exactly why it opens you up for growth as you face challenging obstacles in the future.

On the contrary, unforgiveness is a negative emotional state where you continue…



Victor Mong

15x Top Writer // I research and write science-based advice on life, productivity & health //