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5 Life-Changing Benefits of Knowing Your Family History and How to Discover It



Benefits of Knowing Your Family History

Ancestry tests are all the rage these days, and for good reason. Not only are they helpful for your medical record, they offer dramatic quality-of-life benefits. They’re at their best when you combine them with traditional research: digging up documents, listening to stories. Here are some of the benefits of that effort.

1. New family connections

One obvious benefit of gaining new insight into your gene pool is that you will find new fish swimming in it. You could discover long-lost cousins or whole new branches of the family tree to befriend.

For many people, family connections are a part of their happiness and life purpose, and it’s great if you can contribute to that. Of course, there’s always the risk of reaching out and getting rejected. It might feel harsh, but it is a real possibility. In that case, the best thing to do is to respect your newfound relatives’ wishes.

Additionally, researching your genealogy is a great way to connect with your existing family. By its nature, such activities will involve spouses, parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, and many extended family members. This is a great way to foster intergenerational bonding.

Exchange stories, discover common interests, and identify hereditary traits you share and where they came from. You are also likely to discover tons of precious heirlooms and documents, so use the chance to organize and preserve them for posterity.

2. Your medical background

When we talk about doing DNA tests to research your ancestry, medical background is one of the most-mentioned benefits. But what does it mean in practice? The short answer is: it is the possibility of identifying patterns.

Comparing the genetic maps of many family members lets you see what conditions frequently bother your bloodline. Many health issues have a significant hereditary factor to them. Even if you don’t outright inherit a disease or disorder, you can assess the tendencies that surface.

This is essential in preventative healthcare for your living family and yourself. When you have a clear idea of what issues you are prone to, you can keep a sharper eye out for early symptoms. You can keep tabs on risk factors, such as nutrition, environment, medication, and overall lifestyle.

In addition, if you yourself plan on becoming a biological parent, knowing the potential problems will make child health care much easier in the long run. So, getting your genetic background analyzed by reliable genealogy specialists can quite literally change the way you live your life.

3. A more rounded identity

Benefits of Knowing Your Family History and How to Discover It

Our family ties play a significant part in who we are and how we perceive ourselves. We all want to belong somewhere. When you learn about your ancestry, you ground yourself in a broader context. You get an image of yourself that you could never build if all you knew was your current generation.

When you trace your roots, you get to see a part of you traveling through time, so to speak. You see where you came from and how you got where you are. You see a much bigger picture of your family and your bond to them – what they all achieved through time, what challenges they had to overcome, where they went and what they did that ultimately resulted in you.

It’s an overwhelming insight into your past and your potential. Depending on what stories you discover, you could integrate them into your present life and grow in a new direction. Take inspiration from your ancestors and their accomplishments to fuel your personal development, inspire your career, or even your relationships.

4. Social networking

As more and more people are exploring their genetic backgrounds, genealogy research is becoming somewhat like a hobby. There are various forums and groups where you can connect with others who are researching their own family trees.

You could meet some fascinating new friends or even bump into a relative! In fact, your quest for family history could take in some unexpected professional or academic directions. It could grow into a history lecture, a memento book project, a seminar at the local community center or library, etc. These are all amazing networking opportunities.

5. Maintaining brain health

Circling back to the medical benefits of personal genealogy research, did you know it can literally help keep your mind healthy? When you do research work, you have to employ various skills such as:

  • operating dedicated software
  • processing documents
  • data entry and management
  • critical reading
  • critical listening etc.

There is also the possibility that you will have to learn something new, which earns you bonus cognitive exercise points. All of this improves your mental faculties, which boosts your brain wellness long-term. An active brain is a healthy brain.

For this reason, researching family history is particularly beneficial for the elderly. They get to exercise their memory and speech skills, and reminiscing can help regulate their moods, heart rate, and blood pressure. There is also the serotonin boost for everyone involved that you get from learning new things about your family and reconnecting with nice memories.

In conclusion, discovering your family history is immensely rewarding. If you combine modern DNA tests with old-fashioned research, you can get a more complete medical record, predict potential conditions, and boost your brain health. It’s also a wonderful way to strengthen family bonds and form new ones, and have a more balanced sense of your own identity.

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Mike Johnston is an experienced blogger and editor with a background in creative writing and digital media. He’s produced thousands of pages of original, engaging content for numerous online publications throughout his career. Mike’s specialties are business and technology, but he also often writes about travel, lifestyle and work-life balance.

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