Our Childhood Memories Have A Big Impact On Our Overall Well Being
Memories are a precious thing. They helped shape us into the person we are today and made us stronger in some ways. We know that memories can affect our mental health well enough, but it is possible too that memories may change our physical health?
William Chopik, a psychology professor at Michigan State University, believes it isn’t just our memories that may affect our physical health but our perceptions of them as well.
“What really impacts adults is how we psychologically interpret things and create memories. In short: our memories of our childhood predicted health and depression not even be based in reality.” Chopik states in his paper.
More specifically in regards to memories and physical health, it’s those of our parents that affect us the most and still linger.
Chopik came to his conclusion after gathering data from the 1990s of two adult groups surveyed: one group was made up of 7,000 middle-aged adults observed for almost two decades, and the other 15,000 adults in their late 60s, observed over only six years.
“It’d be naïve to think that past relationships and how we remember them, especially those with our parents, don’t affect us today,” Chopik says. “How you remember things might actually be more important than what actually happened. Memories can truly be harmful because they can control how you behave, your health, and how you engage with and treat other people.”
Chopik’s study concluded that the despite age, time did make the physical and mental effects of perception fade.
While the simplest answer to the problem would be ‘let it go’ when it comes to negative memories associated with our parents, the answer may be more complicated because physical health is affected.
The way to help people with this issue remains to be seen, and Chopik intends to find the answer in his next study.