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If you have moved at least once in your life, then you know how overwhelming and frightening it can be. Can you now imagine how frequent movers must feel and what effects it can have on their mental health? It can be wild and interesting if you are a child, it can affect you in many ways. As an adult, you might be moving for a better job, a better neighborhood or a better home. However, numerous research studies have focused on the psychological effects of moving frequently and they all agree that it is an intensely emotional experience. Moving frequently has a psychological effect both on children and adults and it is not something you can bounce back from quickly. Luckily, there are some positive effects. Let’s discuss these four psychological effects that happen to frequent movers.
If you move frequently even government relocation done with care can trigger stress and stress has been shown to have a negative effect on people’s health. When you are under stress then you have a lower life satisfaction and poor psychological well being. The research shows that children who are exposed to stressful situations perform poorly at school and will have more behavioral problems. A study shows that frequent moves in adolescent age are closely connected to the psychological stress in adulthood and suggest that it’s as stressful as other major life events, like divorce or job loss. There is a medical study that shows that people who have lived in many different countries while growing up have an increased risk of:
suicide, the most dangerous psychological effect of moving frequently
and even early death.
Moving frequently is hard for everyone, especially children and adolescents who have difficulties making friends. For an outgoing person, it is not a problem to make friends no matter where they are. However, to introverts, the psychological effects of moving frequently can be serious. Moving a lot can trigger anxiety and panic disorder in a less outgoing person. Anxiety is an uncomfortable feeling that impacts one’s ability to build and maintain friendships. Furthermore, it can lead to a reduction of parent-child interaction, which is extremely important especially for adolescents. To stay healthy, both mentally and physically, it is important to have normal social interaction. Social isolation causes unhappiness and dissatisfaction and it can affect both adults and children equally.
There are some dos and don’ts in a relationship, however, for a frequent mover, it is more likely to leave a relationship behind without thinking twice. A study published a few years ago suggested that there is a link between relocation and fewer attachments to possession and people. The participants in the study were less attached to their stuff and more willing to let go of the friendships, in other words, people less attached to things are more likely to move frequently. Psychologists concluded that people who move more frequently view both their stuff and their connections to other people as disposable and substitutable. When you can’t make a firm friendship while adolescence, you will grow up to be rather unhappy and have poor quilty of life as an adult.
Fortunately, it’s not all negative. According to a recently published research, the people will probably remember the events that occur just around the moving. In this research, the participants were asked to recount the most memorable experiences and they found that a high percentage of their memories occurred right before or after moving. That is to say, we remember things more vividly and have a higher density of memories when it comes to the periods of life involving major events – which means that they are more firmly in our memory or they are replayed more frequently. Even though it’s hard for people moving frequently to have a healthy lifestyle, they will certainly have a better memory than those staying in one place.
Be that as it may, the psychological effects of moving frequently are severe and far-reaching. This shouldn’t be taken lightly, and if you are among the ones who move quite often, you should be aware that your well-being is jeopardized. You are even more vulnerable if you are an introvert or you have a preference for disregarding the relationships easily. Being aware of these psychological effects allows you to work on yourself. Try to lower down the stress as much as you can and to keep your anxiety under control. Talking about the problem you have and the anxiety you might be feeling with a friend will make you feel less alone, and sometimes that is all you need. Don’t be so quick to walk away from friendships just because you are moving to another city or country. Investing in your friendships and relationships is not too demanding, and it will have a meaningful influence on your well-being. So, for your good, keep the stress level under control, do not discard your friends, and try to be more extroverted.