The Art of Forgiveness: A Step-by-Step Guide

Forgiveness is a trait that everyone has the potential for within themselves, and yet it is not always easy to practise. It can be an incredibly difficult process to work through, especially when one has been hurt deeply by another. However, practising forgiveness is essential for one’s mental and emotional well-being, and it can also improve the relationships we have with others. It can be difficult to know where to start with forgiveness, but thankfully, there is a step-by-step approach that can help anyone on their journey to understanding and practising this art.


Step 1: Acknowledge the Hurt

The first step towards practising forgiveness is acknowledging the pain that was caused. It can take time for one to come to terms with the hurt, but it is important to acknowledge it before moving forward. Ignoring or suppressing the emotions associated with the pain can only make matters worse.


Step 2: Identify the Emotions

It is important to identify and name the emotions one is feeling. This can help in processing those emotions and working through them. Often, identifying the root of one’s emotions can help in understanding the motive behind the offence and can make it easier to move towards forgiveness.


Step 3: Understand the Other Person’s Perspective

It is important to try and understand the other person’s perspective. While it may not excuse their actions, it can help in understanding why they acted the way they did. This can also help in realising that the offence was not a personal attack, but instead a mistake or miscommunication.


Step 4: Choose to Forgive

Forgiveness is a choice and a process. It is important to remember that forgiveness does not mean condoning the hurtful action, nor does it mean forgetting it entirely. Forgiveness is choosing to let go of the hurt and anger associated with the offence.


Step 5: Work on Reconciliation

Forgiveness is often the first step towards reconciliation. It may take time or it may not be possible, but working towards reconciliation can help in restoring the damaged relationship. It is important to have an open and honest conversation about the offence and to work together towards moving forward.


Practising forgiveness is an incredibly important tool for one’s mental and emotional well-being. It takes time and effort to work through the process, but the benefits are immeasurable. Remember to acknowledge the hurt and emotions, try and understand the other person’s perspective, and choose to forgive. While it may not always be possible to reconcile, forgiveness can help in restoring peace within the self. So take the time to work through the process, and start your journey towards the art of forgiveness.


Want to know more? Discover more about the benefits of scientific mindfulness meditation for emotional wellbeing and mindful relationships in Dr. Elise Bialylew’s book The Happiness Plan 💛


"If we wish to be healthy, happy and clear-minded, we need to upgrade our “inner technology”of attention to meet the demands of our increasingly complex world. That's where mindfulness comes in.."




Elise Bialylew is the author of the bestselling book, The Happiness Plan, and founder of Mindful in May, the world’s largest online global mindfulness fundraising campaign.

A doctor trained in psychiatry, turned social entrepreneur and mindfulness expert, she’s passionate about supporting individuals and organisations to develop inner tools for greater wellbeing and flourishing, and offers workshops and training at The Mind Life Project.

Her work has been featured in the Huffington Post, New York Times and on Australian Television. She was recently recognised by the Australian Financial Review as a 2019 AFR Women of Influence.

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