Families can be a primary source of strength and ultimate protection. It can also be an endless nightmare making you more miserable. Family relationships have a significant impact on mental health. Research studies have found that rocky family relationships could make you stressed, physically unwell, and mentally worse. In contrast, if your family supports you and relationships are healthy, persons with mental health issues could show better progress in their recovery journey.  

For a family to be happy, healthy family relationships are indispensable. To improve family relationships, we can start by taking care of ourselves. Most of the time, we want to do the right thing for our loved ones. Unfortunately, in our busy daily lives, we often neglect ourselves. We spend precious time on various daily activities, leave no time to rest, and get overwhelmed. Therefore, we give ourselves some more care each day and worry less. This will greatly help family relationships.

Second, maintain a calm and stable mood under all circumstances. Exercises like meditation and deep breathing can relax daily tension. Practice them daily, so you can remain calm when you need to. When you are moody, try to find a comfortable environment to pause and be quiet. Don’t do things you regret.

Communicate more with your family and express your sincere concern. In daily family life, don’t just make others listen to your opinions, but also listen carefully and patiently to the thoughts of others. There isn’t always an immediate solution to every situation in life. However, listening attentively and greeting each other kindly can soothe the family.

One last thing, spending quality time as a family is crucial. Even if we sit together but do things on our own and ignore each other, that is not a quality relationship. One of the best ways is to develop common interests. We will have common goals and spend quality time together. It will also bring us joy.

I hope the above methods can contribute to a harmonious family that is physically and mentally healthy!

Written by Dr. Lily Ho Nga Lei