Positive family relationships linked to better health
When Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opened in theaters recently, fans already knew Luke Skywalker’s legacy and the Force was bound to continue. But it might not have turned out that way.
Something happened that helped Skywalker achieve Jedi status years earlier. His father, Darth Vader, mended their relationship when he said: “I am your father…Search your feelings. You know it to be true.”
How are your family relationships with a parent, grandparent, sibling, or child? Research shows that strained family relationships can have a negative impact on your health. The relationship with a spouse or partner matters, too. Not getting along may increase the risk for chronic disease, stroke, headaches, stomach problems, and even early death.
Tips to Strengthen Family Bonds
If there’s a strained relationship in your family, the holidays can be a good time to make a change. Pick up the phone. Send a text, e-mail, card or letter. Plan a get-together. You’ll feel better and be healthier. Here are some things you can do to improve family relationships.
- Keep promises. If you say you’re going to do something, make it happen. When people know they can count on you, you’ll build stronger bonds. If you don’t think you can keep a promise, say so. Just be honest.
- Apologize. Stuff happens. People make mistakes. You can’t make it to your kid’s soccer game. You miss a family event. If you really want to build stronger bonds with others, let people know you’re sorry when you’ve done something wrong or made a mistake.
- Pay attention when someone is talking. Be an active listener. Ask questions. Restate to make sure you know what the other person said.
- Be supportive. When someone you care about is facing a challenge, step in and help out when you can. Encourage them. Let them know you care.
Tip: Take five minutes to write a thank-you note or send an email to your boss or co-worker.
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