Is a Healthy Relationship With Our Mother Key of Lifelong Happiness?

The affective bond between mother and daughter during childhood determines our personality, so we must commemorate the importance of mothers in our lives.

The Woman Post | Nereida Vega

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Over the years, researchers have studied participants' health trajectories and their lives in general, including their triumphs and failures in careers and marriage. The finding has produced surprising lessons, not just for researchers.

All surveys show that most young adults believe that gaining fame and wealth is essential to a happy life. However, a Harvard study suggests that one of the most important indicators of aging well and living a long, happy life is not the amount of money you accumulate or the reputation you receive. On the contrary, long-term health and well-being are much more important.

The findings of Harvard's study on adult development is a research project that since 1938 has closely followed and examined the lives of more than 700 men, and in some cases their partners. This study has revealed some surprising factors, and others not so much, that determine whether people are likely to become happy and healthy age or whether they will fall into loneliness, illness or mental weakening, according to Liz Mineo, writer on the Harvard Gazette web portal, in the category of Health and Medicine, called "Good Genes Are Nice, but the joy is better."

Robert J. Waldinger

Robert J. Waldinger, Director of the Center for Psychodynamic Therapy and Research at Massachusetts General Hospital and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, assured in the study that our relationships and how happy we are in our relationships have a powerful influence on our health. Even taking care of our bodies is important, but taking care of our relationships is also a form of self-care.

On the other hand, those who had warm relationships could live happier, while the lonely ones often died earlier. Loneliness kills: it is as powerful as smoking or alcoholism.


George Eman Vaillant

Psychiatrist George Vaillant joined the team as a researcher in 1966 and led the study from 1972 to 2004. He trained as a psychoanalyst, emphasizing the role of relationships and came to recognize the crucial role they played in people living long and pleasant lives.

Vaillant wrote a book called "Aging Well: Surprising Guideposts to a Happier Life from the Landmark Study of Adult Development," in which he emphasizes six factors that contribute to this phenomenon: physical activity, absence of alcohol abuse and smoking, having mature mechanisms to cope with the ups and downs of life, and enjoying a stable weight and marriage. For men in the city center, education was an additional factor.

Moreover, Vaillant's research highlighted the role of these protective factors in healthy aging. The more elements the subjects had, the better the chances that they would have a longer, happier life.

The Strength of the Mother-Daughter Bond

Some mothers and daughters build strong bonds of connection and respect, free of conditioning and feeling accompanied in their needs. These girls grow up happy and confident. On the contrary, in other families, authoritarianism, blackmail, and coerciveness, damage the mother's bond with her daughters, who end up dragging, for life, a cluster of insecurities and low self-esteem.

In this sense, in the face of absent mothers and overly controlling mothers, however, both experiences are devastating to the personality. Of course, both are victims and carry their burden of abandonment, fears, and insecurities. But these harsh circumstances do not minimize the impact of the deficiencies and repressions suffered by their own daughters.

In short, to heal in-depth, we have to bring to light the emotions that were silenced in the past, connect with our true selves, and make sure that they never suppress each other. Of course, this personal change will influence the current relationship with our own mother. The evolution of the relationship with the mother will also depend on how she accepts all these changes. But if the mother assumes, as a mature person, the mistakes made in the past and shows a true attitude of change, it is possible to maintain a healthy and adult relationship, no longer from indifference or repression, but from mutual understanding and dialogue, according to Ramón Soler of the web portal CuerpoMente.

Relationships Are Key

According to David Kirkpatrick, relationships, without genes or circumstances, are at the center of human satisfaction and happiness. A strong relationship with mom can help cope with the traumas of later adulthood. Prioritizing what is important is a challenge in today's world. The multiple approaches require to maintain the career, ourselves, and the home can be overwhelming.

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