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Life-Changing Benefits of Knowing Your Family Tree and How to Follow It

Life-Changing Benefits of Knowing Your Family Tree and How to Follow It

It would seem that the term self-made is more and more commonly associated with our personal descriptions. Be it in our career or private life, we as people adore using the term self-made to describe ourselves.

However, in the haste to define themselves as individual entities, people appear to forget that they are, albeit sometimes subtly, connected to others through ties that span both centuries and continents. Thus, in the hopes of encouraging people to seek out their lineage and connect with their past, this article takes an in-depth look at some of the reasons why uncovering your ancestry may be beneficial.

Filling in the blanks – a (in)complete medical history

Most people are quite familiar with organisations such as 23&Me, companies that offer to provide you with a complete family history with just one drop of your DNA. If you’ve ever glossed over one of these genealogy websites, you’ve probably seen that uncovering your medical history is one of the most commonly stated benefits. Now, even though these websites tend to exaggerate their abilities, they are capable of filling in the missing pieces in your medical record to a degree. By discovering their ancestry, people are simultaneously uncovering the medical patterns neatly woven into their DNA. Comparing medical charts across time may help individuals pinpoint illnesses and genetic mutations commonly found in their bloodline. Once they have a clearer picture of their medical predispositions, people are able to take necessary precautions, be it in their diet or in the form of regular check-ups. In addition, a more complete medical history will prepare potential parents for the health risks that they may pass on to their children.

Finding your roots – finding where you belong

As the first paragraph of this article hinted, the present world is one populated by individuals rather than communities. However, while they may put up a solid front, even the most independent souls feel lonely every once in a while – and here is where professional genealogy research comes into play. Namely, re-discovering our roots is also a path to re-discovering ourselves. Even though we might not be aware of it, the heritage of our ancestors lives on in us and rediscovering our roots may just lead us back to it – back to a sense of community. Once we know where we came from, we also come to better understand all that those before us had to accomplish and overcome for us to be standing here (wherever that may be) today. Individuals may even be surprised to find parallels between past hardships and their present ones, finding the strength to overcome them in ancestral stories of perseverance.

Life-Changing Benefits of Knowing Your Family Tree and How to Follow ItImage by rawpixel.com

Enhancing neural connections – a detective exercise for your mind

While research into your ancestry may end with a simple genealogical report, this rarely turns out to be the case. Rather than being satisfied with numbers and figures, people in search of their heritage more often than not decide to dig deeper. This entails searching for relatives, roaming libraries and city halls, and sometimes even getting in touch with a PI. Whatever the case, continuing the research into your roots may have numerous benefits for your mental health. For one, acquiring new information is a given cognitive exercise. However, in addition to it, people researching their ancestry also activate cognitive centres responsible for critical reading and listening, thus forming new neurological pathways.

If there is one point this article wishes to stress, it’s that knowing your roots is just as relevant as claiming your independence. The past is what connects us to others, forging paths of understanding and building unbreakable bonds. Thus, once we understand our past, we can come to learn from it and become better and more complete versions of ourselves.


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This article was submitted exclusively to CrystalWind.ca by Luke Douglas

Luke is a lifestyle blogger. He is editor in chief at blog Ripped.me and one of the contributors at blog Trans4Mind. He follows the trends in fitness, travel and tech and loves to share his knowledge through useful and informative articles. See him here: 
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