Family first is a term which is largely restricted to the movies in the current day and age. Yes, we may agree with it in principle but how many of us actually practice it? The natural stresses of the 21st century often lead us to have a nonchalant attitude towards the creators of our family – our parents & grandparents. Studies suggest that this (combined with others) has been a significant factor impacting the life expectancy of our elders. A healthy relationship and being present in each other’s lives can improve the mental and physical health of everyone involved.
A recent study shows that death and disability are not restricted to biological issues. It can also be caused by psychological factors like loneliness. Loneliness often transcends the meaning of not having anyone. It can also mean the absence of a physical and emotional connection with the people one loves and cares about.
The study further suggests that the above may even lead to decreased mobility and make it difficult to perform everyday tasks. These issues are amplified in participants who were 60 years and older and they are at a higher risk.
In a study of 1600 participants, the University of California found that loneliness could have a more significant impact on life expectancy than other factors.
What’s more? A study conducted on 5th and 6th graders concluded that those who had a more secure relationship with their mother were better accepted in their peer group. These children were more responsive during conversations and overall, were less critical. They also felt less lonely than those who had an insecure relationship with their mother.
While having a close and overly positive relationship with one’s parents may not be realistic for most, even having a few good moments, positive interactions, and being cordial overall makes a significant difference.
When studying adult children’s relationships with their parents it was found that negative encounters often contribute to stress and low morale. However, when both the parents and children have shared positive experiences, the negativity can be completely alleviated giving way to a healthy positive outlook towards life.