By Nandini D’Souza Wolfe

When I was growing up, it felt like my mom had a tidy, bite-sized quip or comeback for every situation I threw at her. From “You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar” when I was being naughty, and “Well, that’s the pot calling the kettle black” when I whined about my big brother’s behavior. At the time, I would roll my eyes at her go-to sayings. Eventually, I realized they were words of wisdom based on cold hard science. Here is a list of research backed mom-isms:

  1. Stop and Smell the Roses: More than a reason to take a second to relax and enjoy something beautiful, pleasant smells can impact our health positively and even help fight depression and the effects of Alzheimer’s.
  1. Money Can’t Buy You Love: So popular, it’s a song and a movie, too. But it’s meaning is clear — experiences with people we care about bring us greater happiness than things we buy.
  1. To Forgive is Divine: It’s not easy letting go of our hang-ups and resentments, but doing so makes us happier and healthier.
  1. Leave a Little Mystery: Mom was usually referring to length of hemlines, but this is good advice for established couples. One of the ways to rekindle and/or maintain desire is to give one another a little privacy. Close the bathroom door, not everything has to be shared.
  1. Spoilt for Choice: Having too many choices can be a bad thing, making it difficult to choose. People provided with fewer options are more likely to make a decision — about big and little things.
  1. Live with Purpose: Having a sense of purpose, especially one that focuses on helping others even in small ways, increases our own wellbeing.
  1. Birds of a Feather Flock Together: This describes the phenomenon of homiphily, when people associate with people who resemble themselves. As in opposites don’t attract.