"Makes you much more likely to have heart disease … It increases your risk of stress-related disorder. It raises your blood pressure," said Luskin. "Wanting to hurt somebody is like pouring Drano into your own insides."
It's natural to want revenge. Marietta Lane was on a camping trip with her family in Montana when her 7-year old daughter, Susie, was kidnapped. Lane wanted to kill the kidnapper.
"I was just so furious that I could have done it with my bare hands and a smile on my face," said Lane.
But, within a year, Lane decided to forgive whomever it was who took her child. "As a Catholic Christian, that's what I'm called to do. And just psychologically I knew that hatred was not healthy … it would have obsessed and consumed me," said Lane.
One year after Susie was taken, the kidnapper called Lane, and her forgiveness so surprised him that he stayed on the phone with her for an hour. That gave police enough clues to find him. Susie had already been killed. In jail, the kidnapper killed himself. Then Lane befriended the man's mother and they eventually went together to visit his grave.
"People say forgive and forget. Well, you'll never forget. I will never forget what happened to my little girl," said Lane. "But it's precisely because I can't forget that I have to find a way to move on with my life."
And that approach is good for the health, said Luskin. He says forgiveness makes you less depressed, less angry and less stressed. "Revenge may feel good for a moment," said Luskin. "Forgiveness helps you heal your whole life."