Photo by Suzy Hazelwood

Are you aware that learning about your family history can surge your happiness?

The pace of humanity’s lives has considerably changed over the last two (2) decades. The technological advances that enhance your lives allow you to work, function, and operate efficiently and fast. Yet, those same advances can usher in a hectic lifestyle where interpersonal communication and interaction with family members become fragmented and weakened. The family is the very foundation of society. Keeping the family unit solid despite the assaults of modern times can be daunting for many parents. The solution, however, is as close as your fondest childhood family memories. And, chances are, those cherished memories revolve around family traditions.

How much do you genuinely know about your family history? Besides the occasional school project that had you research your family tree, you may have yet to do an in-depth study. Learning about your family history is essential and can reveal many surprising things you did not know. You can do a genealogy search online or sit with family members and listen to their stories.

Five Life-Changing Benefits Of Knowing One’s Family History

No matter how you gather the information, you will have a deeper appreciation for who you are and where you come from. Here are five life-changing benefits of knowing your family history.

1. It gives you a sense of identity. Nothing is more eye-opening than learning and knowing about who you are. Celebrating family traditions, discovering more about your ancestors, understanding where you came from, and embracing your culture, can open your eyes to how unique and beautiful you are. It can also give your sense of belonging and self-worth a boost.

2. It makes you more resilient. Face it. Life is hard. But life was even more so back in the day. Your past family members probably faced terrible heartache and tragedies, more likely than not. They may have faced things that seem almost impossible to overcome. But they did overcome them. Knowing about their stories and how they got through challenging times can give you the sturdiness to keep going and make you tougher when facing challenges.

3. It helps you connect with others. Learning about your family history can impact how you connect with others as it permits you to communicate with people in the present, past, and future. And forming connections with other people is crucial to a fulfilling life.

4. It makes you a better human. Older family members’ stories can shape you into a happier, more grateful, empathetic, and compassionate version of yourself. For example, you may discover that your great-grandfather lived during the Great Depression and had to work hard to provide for his family, which may inspire and encourage you to work hard. Whatever stories are shining in your family history treasury, now is the perfect time to reveal them all.

5. It helps you make the right health choices. Have you been filling out a hospital’s patient history form before seeing your healthcare provider and your mind zoned out when it asked if high blood pressure, cancer, or diabetes had run in your family? To avoid leaving those empty spaces in the future, knowing about your ancestors can give you much information on what medical or health concerns run in your family. More importantly, it shows you what you are at risk for. Knowing this information can aid you in making sound and suitable choices for your health and help you usher in a healthy lifestyle.

For some good reading fortress about knowing your family heritage, grab a copy of Sad Papaw’s Heritage. Expanding on an internet meme, Kenny Harmon’s eminently readable book demonstrates how every individual has an exciting story to tell and that, in the telling, a more comprehensive history is revealed.  

Finally, explore your family tree. Learning about your family’s heritage can provide you and your kids with an important connection to your and their identities and open up a contemporary world to other traditions and cultures. Even if you must return to many generations to learn what continent or countries your family came from before arriving in the United States, it will be educational and fun to learn the cultures and histories of those nations. Keep your family’s heritage from slipping away by teaching it to your children. So start digging now; after all, there is always time to know about your family history.

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