You may have noticed by now that I am really interested in human behavior. Especially how we can be closer to the people who are important to us. Of course, good health is one of the ways that we can be closer, simply being alive and able to interact is (obviously) important and that’s why I write for Minute Movement. But there are other things that we can do to foster intimacy in our personal relationships.
I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this article since I read it last week. It showcases a recent study in Australia that appears to show that physical and emotional closeness with a loved one can reduce situational stress.
Before you get too excited, remember that the study only explored the subject within the context of the Mother-Daughter relationship, so it’s not safe to assume that the results can be expected with other relationships.
The researchers concluded that having ‘a strong relationship with a loved one can help ease stress when placed in difficult situations’, in essence, these family pairs were sharing the emotional load of one another (conversely, ‘individuals function at a relative deficit when they are farther away from people they trust’). Isn’t that amazing?
The Mother/Daughter groups rated the level of closeness in their relationship prior to the girls giving a speech while the researchers tracked their level of stress. The stress levels that the daughters experienced during the speech was reduced when their mothers held their hands – regardless of how they had rated their relationship. The girls whose mothers did not hold their hands but reported a close relationship with their mothers also experienced less stress than the girls who spoke alone and didn’t feel close to their mothers.
So there you go – cultivate your relationships – the benefits are immeasurable and it’s a fantastic way to …
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PS – I picked the colors in the graphic above because they are my daughter’s favorites. 🙂