International Day of Families: 12 ways spending time with family can boost well-being

By, New Delhi
May 14, 2023 08:50 PM IST

Spending time with family is an essential aspect of our lives and can profoundly impact our well-being. Here are ways it can benefit us.

Family is one of the important constants in our life. It offers support, security, unconditional love and a non-judgmental space to share our innermost thoughts. Spending time with family can ease stress and anxiety and promote feelings of well-being, as per studies. One may have differences with family members at times, but chances of reconciliation are always higher than any other relationship. To highlight the importance of family in our lives, International Day of Families proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 is observed on May 15 every year. (Also read: International Day of Families 2023: Date, theme, history, significance and all you need to know)

 Spending time with family can ease stress and anxiety and promote feelings of well-being, as per studies. (Pexels)
Spending time with family can ease stress and anxiety and promote feelings of well-being, as per studies. (Pexels)

"Spending time with family is an essential aspect of our lives and can profoundly impact our well-being. Spending quality time with family can be one of the most rewarding experiences in life. It's not just about sharing laughs and creating unforgettable memories - it's also about improving your overall well-being. Studies have shown that family relationships can significantly impact mental and emotional health. Whether going for a hike, cooking together, or simply sitting down for a long conversation, time spent with loved ones can help reduce stress and promote happiness and contentment. By dedicating time to building and maintaining these critical relationships, we can enhance our well-being and strengthen the bonds that keep us connected to those who matter most," says Dr Chandni Tugnait is M.D. (Alternative Medicines), Psychotherapist, Life Coach, Business Coach, NLP Expert, Healer, Founder & Director - Gateway of Healing.

Dr Tugnait shares how spending time with family can boost well-being:

1. Improved mental health

Spending quality time with family can help reduce stress and anxiety and improve overall mental well-being. Interacting with loved ones provides emotional support, promotes a sense of belonging, and allows you to share your thoughts and feelings, which can help alleviate stress and prevent feelings of loneliness and isolation.

2. Stronger relationships

Spending time together helps strengthen the bonds between family members, fostering trust, understanding, and open communication. Engaging in activities and sharing experiences with family can create lasting memories and deepen emotional connections, contributing to a more fulfilling life.

3. Enhanced emotional intelligence

Individuals can develop better emotional intelligence by spending time with family, especially in emotionally challenging situations. Observing and participating in family dynamics can teach one how to manage emotions, empathize with others, and effectively communicate feelings, enhancing personal relationships and social skills.

4. Positive role modelling

For children, spending time with family allows them to learn from their parents and other family members. They observe and imitate behaviour, values, and attitudes, which shape their character and development. A strong family bond also creates a supportive environment that encourages children to learn, grow, and thrive.

5. Better physical health

Families who engage in healthy activities, such as exercising, cooking nutritious meals, or participating in outdoor activities, tend to have better overall physical health. Shared healthy habits can lead to improved fitness levels, reduced risk of chronic diseases, and increased longevity.

6. Greater life satisfaction

Spending time with family can lead to greater satisfaction and happiness. Family members' love, support, and encouragement can boost self-esteem and confidence, leading to a more positive outlook on life. Studies have shown that individuals with strong family connections are happier and more content with their lives.

Dr Sonal Anand, Psychiatrist, Wockhardt Hospitals, Mira Road says family can help alleviate loneliness.

7. You don’t feel alone

Loneliness is gradually turning into a problem of epic portion more so after the pandemic. Isolation and real time social avoidance is becoming a way of life which is totally against our innate nature. Having strong and healthy family ties can help with the difficulties that come with loneliness specially anxiety and fulfils emotional needs.

8. Helps the kids and younger ones in the family deal with insecurities and fears

Children learn and adapt from parents and families. As children grow up, they are exposed to good and bad influences. With good relationships and guidance from home, they will be able to make informed choices better and create a healthy parent-child bond which can be source of joy and balance for both.

9. Increases life expectancy

Spending time with family and having good ties can increase oxytocin levels in the brain, and other feel good hormones. Oxytocin helps to reduce stress and anxiety, increase feelings of bonding and promotes general well being.

Dr. Jyoti Kapoor, Founder-Director and Senior Psychiatrist, Manasthali says carving out time for our loved ones is not just a matter of bonding; it has a profound impact on our overall well-being.

10. Emotional support

One of the fundamental benefits of spending time with family is the emotional support they provide. Family members offer a safe and non-judgmental space to share your thoughts, concerns, and joys. This emotional connection helps reduce stress, improves mood, and fosters a sense of belonging. The love and understanding received from family members can significantly boost your overall well-being.

ease feelings of contentment, gratitude, and fulfillment, promoting a more positive outlook on life.

11. Helps develop communication skills

Regular interaction with family members provides an ideal setting to develop effective communication skills. Engaging in conversations and actively listening to one another's thoughts and perspectives fosters empathy and understanding. These skills extend beyond the family unit and positively impact relationships in other areas of life, including friendships and professional settings.

12. Eases stress

Spending time with family acts as a powerful stress reliever. Engaging in activities that promote relaxation, such as watching movies together, taking walks, or engaging in hobbies, helps reduce stress levels. The emotional support and shared laughter experienced during family time release feel-good hormones like oxytocin, which in turn lower stress and anxiety, promoting a state of calm and well-being.

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