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Odd Enough 'Can holding a grudge hurt my health?'

Here's how to let it go.

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Sometimes it's just hard to let things go. But it should come as no surprise that when you have a hard time moving on from a grudge, it'll be bad for your health.

Negative emotion can start a destructive cycle—it leads to biochemical changes such as an increase in cortisol (the stress hormone), which interferes with your body's natural healing mechanism, which leads to less self-care (such as exercise), which creates physical pain, which leads to more dark emotions, which can cause low self-esteem... and so on and so on. (Hit the reset button—and burn fat like crazy with The Body Clock Diet!)

The good news is that if you're able to acknowledge you are holding a grudge, you're halfway to releasing it. To fully let it go, try a forgiveness meditation. Each night in a quiet room with your eyes closed, repeat this as often as you need, either out loud or to yourself: "I forgive those who have wronged me. I forgive myself. I let go of all anger, resentment, and pain. I welcome an abundance of love, peace, and joy. Thank you, mind. Thank you, body."

Do this every night until you feel you no longer need it. Even if you don't reach 100 percent forgiveness, just repeating the words helps. Research overwhelmingly supports that meditation makes it possible for you to improve your mental and physical state. So when in doubt, meditate!

This article originally appeared in the May 2017 issue of Women's Health. For more great advice, pick up a copy of the issue on newsstands now!

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