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Having a Sister Makes You Happier and More Optimistic

April 21, 2009 | 48,375 views

sistersGrowing up with at least one girl in the family makes people more able to cope with their problems. The researchers believed that daughters and sisters tie loved ones closer together and encourage them to communicate their emotions more effectively.

According to Professor Tony Cassidy, who carried out the study with other researchers, "Sisters appear to encourage more open communication and cohesion in families. However, brothers seem to have the alternative effect. Emotional expression is fundamental to good psychological health and having sisters promotes this in families."

Girls who had sisters also tended to be more independent and achievement-oriented.

The study questioned close to 600 young adults about the make-up of their families and their emotional well-being.
 

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Knowing how to communicate your emotions effectively, as opposed to keeping them bottled up inside, is one of the keys to your emotional health. Without communication, feelings tend to simmer inside you until eventually they boil over … often with disastrous effects on your personal relationships and health.

This intriguing study of nearly 600 young adults suggests that growing up with at least one girl in the family ties loved ones together, helps families communicate emotions more effectively and makes them more able to cope with their problems.

These benefits appear to be related to sisters’ tendency to encourage open communication, whereas the boys in the family tended to be more tight-lipped about their feelings.

These findings fall right in line with the stereotypes of how men and women communicate, with men being more guarded and women more open, but there are always exceptions to this rule. Perhaps the benefit really stems not from your siblings’ gender, but from how well they are able to communicate their emotions.  

Why Expressing Your Emotions in a Healthy Way is So Important

It is my belief that whatever you focus your attention on is what you tend to create more of in your life. This means that if you have an argument or rough day, and you focus on the anger and negativity you feel, you’ll be setting yourself up for more of the same.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re sitting around all day running the argument over and over in your mind (although that is one possibility that happens all the time). You might, for instance, express your anger over the argument by lashing out at a family member or being rude to someone in a store.

On the other hand, you may push your anger aside where it will get stored in the back of your mind -- until someone pushes your buttons, that is ... and off you’ll go.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could rewire those buttons so that when someone does push them, nothing happens, and you’re able to stay calm and respond with love and patience?

It seems this is one way that sisters help families stay bonded; they encourage open communication and perhaps provide a platform to resolve disagreements and share emotional support.

What if you don’t have a sister? Are you destined to be a pessimist for your entire life?

Not at all, because you can easily “rewire” yourself with the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).

EFT empowers you to take control of the way you operate when you're annoyed. This do-it-yourself emotional acupuncture technique helps you to rewire your subtle energy system, and soothe your circuits so things don't bug you as much.

Now, EFT doesn't claim to solve EVERY emotional hurdle, but you are likely to feel better about 80 percent of the time. And that can mean a lot if you are looking to become happier and more optimistic.

A Reminder on Why Staying Optimistic is So Important

There is little doubt about the powerful effects positive emotions can have on your physical health and well-being. Happiness will not only protect your body from stressors that can lead to coronary heart disease, but it can also boost your immune system's ability to fight off the common cold.

According to Darshan Goswami, M.S., PE, happy people also tend to live longer, are healthier, are more successful, enjoy more fulfilling relationships, earn more money, and are liked and respected more.

So no matter whether you grew up in a large family full of sisters and brothers, or are an only child, please devote some time to tending to your emotional health. For a great start, read Goswami’s Simple Secrets of How to be Happy.

[+] Sources and References

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