Thursday, December 31, 2020

Warmth and Competence

Holidays are good for your health - if they warm your heart and your home. 

Exactly one year ago, on Dec. 31 2020, China first alerted the WHO of "viral pneumonia". Next day authorities shut the infamous wet market in Wuhan, and the rest is history. 

Today many will enjoy parental warmth remotely. Those least lucky will do it only in their hearts, remembering the good times. We have a lot to be grateful for to our parents. Beautiful childhood memories is one of those things.  

Scientific research shows that childhood parental warmth improves health, reducing the risk of having a cardiovascular problem and mortality by age 63. via our resting heart rate.  High-frequency heart rate variability (HFHRV), measured during the longitudinal study of over 1K US participants titled “Midlife in the United States”, significantly correlated with parenting scores such that warmer parenting predicted higher HF-HRV. This measure relates to the strength of Autonomic Nervous System and cardiovascular health. 

Another large study (over 1K young individuals in China), part of an even larger project that included extensive measures of executive function, decision making, memory, personality, and wellbeing, explored the whole genome to identify genetics mediating the effect of parental warmth on professional competence. Thee genes responsible were components of electrical circuitry in the human brain fine tuned by parental warmth to improve our ability to make decisions. 

But enough of science and the art. Let today be a new beginning.

Be happy, be warm, be successful. 


Alen NV, Sloan RP, Seeman TE, Hostinar CE. Childhood parental warmth and heart rate variability in midlife: Implications for health. Personal Relationships. 2020 Sep;27(3):506-25.

Chen C, Chen C, Xue G, Dong Q, Zhao L, Zhang S. Parental warmth interacts with several genes to affect executive function components: a genome-wide environment interaction study. BMC genetics. 2020 Dec;21(1):1-1.