We are often in search for the secret to being happy and healthy. Many of us dislike feeling old, and admitting to hearing loss can often put a damper to our quest for eternal youth. However, in our effort to appear young we may be damaging our health and even straying further away from our loved ones and our happiness.
A study from Harvard University that dates back 75 years, found that the secret to being staying happy lies in how strong our interpersonal relationships are. Despite our belief that more money, success, or professional recognition results in happiness, in reality the secret to happiness lies in healthy, strong relationships. The study mentioned above viewed medical records and interviews that spanned across 75 years, three generations of researchers, and 724 participants. The findings of the study indicate that the quantity of friends is insignificant, but the quality of friendships plays a huge role in our happiness and well-being.
Researchers found that those who had fulfilling personal relationships in their fifties ended up being the most physically and mentally healthy when they reached their eighties.
The findings of the study also report that steady and strong relationships help to maintain a healthy cognitive functioning and even extend life expectancy. The quality of life is far superior and happier for those who preserve their close friendships over the years.
Unfortunately, modern reality is very different. One in every five Americans currently reports feeling lonely. The study found that those who experienced more loneliness also had higher number of health problems and a shorter life expectancy compared to their counterparts who had strong relationships.
Our hearing is essential in order for us to communicate effectively and maintain strong personal relationships. When we are unable to engage in verbal conversations due to hearing loss, the quality of our relationships deteriorates. Lovers become estranged, children grow distant from parents, and friends stop keeping in touch when hearing loss comes into play. It is difficult to love someone when you constantly feel like they are not listening to you. You may feel devalued and unimportant in such relationships and slowly grow distant.
Hearing loss often results in social isolation for those who do not treat it. This is because they begin to feel left out during conversations and feel out of place. They may stop attending social gatherings and grow more reclusive and quiet. As a result, their relationships suffer and so does their happiness and well-being.
Researchers of a study from the American Academy of Audiology found that those with untreated hearing loss face more turbulent relationships and lower physical and mental health as a result. On the other hand, those who wear hearing aids for their hearing loss were found to have healthier, stronger relationships both at home and in the workplace. This in turn led to improved physical and mental health and happiness for these people. People with hearing aids reported having higher levels of self-confidence and increased levels of socialization.
Being able to hear to the best of our ability also helps us feel and behave to the best of our ability. When we can hear, we can do our bit in maintaining healthy relationships over the years. Our hearing helps our mental and physical health by enabling us to maintain positive relationships. Using hearing aids may very well be the secret to happiness that everyone has been searching for all these years!
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