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The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration


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Holding grudges: good or bad?

Holding grudges is something that can often cause a lack in mental and physical wellness. It something that causes much stress.
Photo Credit: Photo via Wikipedia under Creative Commons License
Holding grudges is something that can often cause a lack in mental and physical wellness. It something that causes much stress.

John Lennon once said, “He who holds grudges against people will never truly be happy until he has forgiven and let go of that anger by the best possible means.” This poses the question of whether holding grudges is worth it or not.

What is a grudge?

A grudge is harboring feelings of anger, sadness, confusion, and emotions of the sort against people(s) for something in which they did. In the process, one is holding negative feelings and recalling past events. Psychotherapist Angela Buttimer related holding grudges to “drinking poison and expecting the other person to get sick.” This means that by holding onto someone’s past actions, you’re hoping that they will continue to feel sorrow for what they’ve done. In reality, the other person more than likely does not care, and you’re making yourself suffer by holding the grudge.

Negative effects

Holding grudges has adverse health effects. Stressing over the past causes people to physically make themselves sick. When holding a grudge, your mind is replaying an instance over and over again in your head. This causes your brain to dissociate when the event actually happened, and it feels like you’re constantly reliving it no matter when it occurred.

This causes inflammation in the body and an increase in the stress hormone cortisol. This leaves no room for the “happy chemicals,” serotonin and oxytocin, in the nervous system. An increase in cortisol relates to higher blood sugar, digestive issues, heart disease/attacks, anxiety, and depression. Of course, stress of all kinds causes an increase in cortisol followed by those medical issues. However, holding grudges and constantly dwelling on the past can dramatically alter one’s mental and physical health.

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Holding grudges

Science, and even religion, point to the fact that holding grudges is bad. Matthew 6:14 in the Bible states “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” The Quran talks about forgiveness, as does the Torah. Maybe holding grudges is bad, but forgetting the actions of others isn’t.

I’m a firm believer that if someone wrongs you bad enough, it’s certainly okay to forgive but never forget. Don’t let someone take your kindness and generosity for granted. Don’t allow them to treat you poorly. Most importantly, don’t abandon your personal morals – treat them with as much respect as they give to you.

I can’t lie- I’m plenty guilty of holding grudges. I tend to hold onto the past if someone has treated me wrong. I’ve spent too long being a doormat for others, and I promised I wouldn’t let others take me for granted. There are many people I simply won’t talk to because of their actions. However, everything that doctors warn that can come from holding grudges happens to me. I experience bad headaches and stomach pains when thinking about instances that anger me. It does give me anxiety and leads me down a deep rabbit hole of overthinking.

I’m not going to say that everyone has to forgive those who have done them wrong- we are human and feel things deeply. When people hurt us, we internalize it, and sometimes those feelings cut deep. At the end of the day, if you’re able to forgive others, you’re a strong individual that should be praised. It’s easy for others to say “Get over it! It’s not that important!” However, it is important- your feelings are very important. In life, things are going to break you. For those of us who sometimes hold onto the past a little too long, things will heal with time, and hopefully so will you.

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About the Contributor
Dylan DaCunha
Dylan DaCunha, Editor-in-Chief
Dylan DaCunha is a senior at Colonia High School. She has enjoyed writing all her life, going all the way back to elementary school. She plays softball and has big aspirations to play in college, which is what fuels her passion for writing about sports. She’s an avid baseball fan which doesn’t hurt either. Not only does she play softball at CHS, but she’s an active member in multiple honor societies including Quill & Scroll Media Honor Society. She loves maintaining good grades in order to participate in these activities. Outside of school, she enjoys being with her friends as well as watching movies and listening to music. She plans on traveling the world someday and taking in as much as she can. Her favorite quote, by singer Harry Styles, is “If you’re happy doing what you’re doing nobody can tell you you’re not successful.”   

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Holding grudges: good or bad?