Family stress has a negative impact on your health. It depresses your immune system, interrupts your sleep, and can cause you to overeat or make poor food choices. Fortunately, there are many way to reduce stress as a family.
Tips to Reduce Family Stress
- Play and laugh together! – It releases the “happy” endorphins in your brain and is an effective way to reduce family stress immediately.
- Breathe deeply – Take ten long, deep breaths through your nose before you respond to a family member. Notice how this makes you feel, and make it a daily practice.
- Think positively – Use your thoughts to reduce family stress in your life. Train yourself to flip negative images and thoughts into a positive plan of action.
- Communicate – Establish a support group among your family and friends.
- Eat healthy foods – What you eat affects how you think. Think of your stomach as your second brain.
10 Ways to Bring More Laughter into Your Life
- Spend time with your kids! They do and say the funniest things, and just being around them can help you reduce family stress.
- Play with a pet. Pets are known to lower their owners’ blood pressure and help reduce family stress.
- Make time for fun activities that create laughter, like bowling or miniature golf.
- Make it a point to laugh at your self – everyday.
- Watch a funny movie or TV show.
- Share a good joke or a funny story.
- Hang a funny poster.
- Choose a computer screensaver that makes you laugh.
- Spend time with fun, playful people who find the humor in everyday events.
- Listen to a comedian on the radio or rent a DVD and watch it on your weekly “Family Night”.
Gratefulness – The Key to Happiness
One of the most important keys to having a healthy attitude is to learn to be grateful. Here are some simple ways to incorporate a lifestyle of gratitude into your family. Always remember to set the example for the habits you want your kids to adopt.
- Say “Thank You” to everyone – even very young children.
- Be of service to others. Take the time to open the door for someone else or pick up trash when on a walk.
- Keep a journal. Remembering things to be thankful for doesn’t have to be reserved for Thanksgiving day. Make a habit of saying something you are thankful for at mealtime each night or before going to bed. A gratitude journal from their childhood years would make a great present when your children grow up!
- Teach your children financial responsibility by involving them with decisions at the store. Show them how much money you have to spend that day and let them help you pick items that are within the budget.
- Cultivate a spirit of giving back through time and/or . Show them examples of others who aren’t as privileged as they are and provide your family opportunities to experience the joy of giving food, clothes, money, time, etc. to others in need.
- Teach kids to see good in someone they don’t like. By always looking for the good in others, kids will learn to be grateful for the little things in life.
Simple thank you comments to all of your daily activities is the easiest way to role model appreciation that they will learn and emulate.
Also read Dr. Bill Sears’ tips to help your child build self-confidence.