(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- A new study of 20,000 people shows old emotional wounds can be devastating to your health. Doctors say make peace with the past, and you may add years to your life.
Susana Gomez and her mother have a special relationship, but it wasn't always this way. Nine years ago, Susana had her first baby. At the time, her mother, a devout Catholic, said she couldn't forgive her.
Susana explains, "I am a single mom, and I thought I was going to have my mom next to me to help me because I was scared. Then she wasn't there for me, and that really hurt me a lot."
After nearly three years of not talking, the two have finally laid the past to rest.
Harold Bloomfield, M.D., a psychiatrist in Del Mar, Calif., says it was important for Susana and her mother to move on.
"If you fail to make peace with your past, you are much more vulnerable to suffering from chronic lung disorders or heart disease and cancer," says Dr. Bloomfield.
He admits learning to forgive isn't easy. "It's the mind's natural tendency to try to forget and move on," he says.
Dr. Bloomfield says to do it successfully analyze the cause of your pain. Next, he suggests writing exercises, mental imagery, meditation and prayer.
Not speaking to each other was stressful for Susana. "I missed my mom. I missed my mom a lot," she says.
Susana says she's glad she took the first step toward reconciliation. She says, "It made me feel peaceful, relieved, happy."
That first step not only gave Susana her mother back to her, but also gave her new baby a grandmother to love. Dr. Bloomfield says anyone can learn to forgive and make peace with their past. He says the hardest part is taking that first step.
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