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10 Secrets To Have An Amicable And Happy Family

10 Secrets To Have An Amicable And Happy Family

Trying to create a happy family atmosphere can sometimes feel like a challenge in today’s world. Everyone’s busy, technology seems to take over a lot of spare time, and many adults and children feel stressed. However, there are some steps you can take to keep your family happy in the modern world.

1. Eat Dinner Together Daily

Take time out from your activities to eat dinner together as a family. Talk about your day, reconnect with one another, and discuss your future plans. It’s a great way for parents and kids to stay involved in one another’s lives.

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2. Contribute to the Community as a Family

Families who contribute to their community in some way are likely to use teamwork, which can reinforce family solidarity. Whether you volunteer at a soup kitchen, attend a community clean-up event, or participate in the community Christmas parade together, doing things as a family is important.

3. Empower Your Children to Have a Voice

Telling kids, “It’s my way or the highway,” isn’t likely to yield happy results. Obviously, parents need to be in charge and need to discipline kids accordingly, but kids should have some say in the family. Listen to your child’s concerns, allow your child to offer input, and be willing to admit when you’re wrong.

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4. Let Grandma Move In

Although living with your mother-in-law may not sound like a dream come true, it can actually be really good for kids. When kids live with a grandmother in their home, they’re more likely to show concern for other people. Having an extra set of eyes and hands in the home can also take a lot of stress off parents.

5. Expect Everyone to Pitch In

Happy families don’t keep score about who should be doing what. Instead, they’re all willing to pitch in to take care of household chores and responsibilities. Make it clear that everyone needs to do their share, because that’s part of being a family.

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6. Support One Another’s Activities

Whether you’re watching a soccer game or cheering on the band, happy families support one another’s endeavors. Even if you can’t attend all of your partner or children’s activities, show excitement for their efforts. Help one another succeed by being supportive of each family member’s attempts to reach personal goals.

7. Establish Clear Rules

Happy families need clear rules about expectations and behaviors that will not be tolerated. It can be helpful to write out a list of rules and keep them displayed in the house. Create rules that emphasize the importance of treating one another with respect. Encourage every family member to participate in establishing the household rules.

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8. Spend Quality Time Together

A happy family needs to spend quality time together. That means stepping away from laptops, computers, and video games to really connect as a family. Go for walks, participate in sports, or play board games together as a family.

9. Develop Family Traditions

Family traditions can help a family feel united. Traditions don’t need to be reserved for holidays. Instead, you can create weekly or even daily family traditions.

For example, make Sunday nights family game night and take turns picking out board games. Or make a tradition at bedtime where each family members talks about the highlight of their day. Creating such traditions will help your family stay connected.

10. Hold Regular Family Meetings

Schedule family meetings at least once per month. Discuss what is going well and work on addressing problems together as a family. Use it as a time to manage the family calendar or address needs that aren’t being met. It’s a great way to teach your children problem-solving skills while you resolve problems together.

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Amy Morin

A psychotherapist, psychology instructor, keynote speaker, and the author of the bestselling book 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do

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Last Updated on June 24, 2019

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

A study [1] published in Depression and Anxiety found that social media users are more likely to be depressed. This was just one of the huge number of studies linking social media and depression[2] . But why exactly do platforms like Facebook and Instagram make people so unhappy? Well, we don’t know yet for sure, but there are some explanations.

Social Media Could Lead to Depression

Depression is a serious medical condition that affects how you think, feel, and behave. Social media may lead to depression in predisposed individuals or make existing symptoms of depression[3] worse explains[4] the study above’s senior author Dr. Brian Primack. So, the problem may not be in social media per se, but how we use it.

Signs You’re Suffering From “Social Media Depression”

If you feel like social media is having a negative impact on your mood, then you may be suffering from “social media depression.” Look for symptoms like:

• low self-esteem,

• negative self-talk,

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• a low mood,

• irritability,

• a lack of interest in activities once enjoyed,

• and social withdrawal.

If you’ve had these symptoms for more than two weeks and if this is how you feel most of the time, then you are likely depressed. Although “social media depression “is not a term recognized in the medical setting, social media depression seems to be a real phenomenon affecting around 50% of social media users. As explained in a review study[5] published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, if a person has a certain predisposition to depression and other mental disorders, social media use may only worsen their mental health.

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Social Media Could Crush Self-Esteem

We know that social media and depression are in some way linked, but why is this so? Well, according to Igor Pantic, MD, Ph.D.[6], social media use skews your perception about other people’s lives and traits. To explain this further, most people like to portray an idealized image of their lives, personal traits, and appearance on sites like Facebook and Instagram. If you confuse this idealized image with reality, you may be under the false impression that everyone is better than you which can crush your self-esteem and lead to depression. This is especially true for teens and young adults who are more likely to compare themselves to others. If you already suffer from low self-esteem, the illusion that everyone has it better off than you will just make you feel worse.

Causing Social Isolation and Other Negative Emotions

Another commonly cited reason for the negative impact of social media on mental health is its link with social isolation. Depressed people are more likely to isolate themselves socially and chose only to interact indirectly through social media platforms. But communication online tends to be superficial and is lacking when compared to real-life interaction explains Panic. What this means is not that social media leads to isolation but the other way around, possibly explaining why we find so many depressed persons on these sites.

Lastly, social media use may generate negative emotions in you like envy, jealousy, dislike, loneliness, and many others and this may worsen your depressive symptoms.

Why We Need to Take This Seriously

Both depression and social media use are on the rise according to epidemiological studies. Since each one has an impact on the other, we have to start thinking of healthier ways to use social media. Teens and young adults are especially vulnerable to the negative impact of social media on mental health.

Advice on Social Media Use

Although these findings did not provide any cause-effect explanation regarding Facebook and depression[7], they still do prove that social media use may not be a good way to handle depression. For this reason, the leading authors of these studies gave some suggestions as to how clinicians and people can make use of such findings.

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One suggestion is that clinicians should ask patients about their social media habits. Then they can advise them on how to change their outlook on social media use or even suggest limiting their time spent on social media.

Some social media users may also exhibit addictive behavior; they may spend too much time due to compulsive urges. Any compulsive behavior is bound to lead to feelings of guilt which can worsen depressive symptoms.

Having Unhealthy Relationship with Social Media

If you feel like your relationship with social media is unhealthy, then consider the advice on healthy social media use provided by psychology experts from Links Psychology[8]:

Avoid negative social comparison – always keep in mind that how people portray themselves and their lives on social media is not a realistic picture, but rather an idealized one. Also, avoid comparing yourself to others because this behavior can lead to negative self-talk.

Remember that social media is not a replacement for real life – Social media is great for staying in touch and having fun, but it should never replace real-world interactions.

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Avoid releasing personal information – For your safety and privacy, make sure to be careful with what you post online.

Report users who bully and harass you – It’s easy to be a bully in the anonymous and distant world of social media. Don’t take such offense personally and report those who abuse social media to harass others.

The bits of advice listed above can help you establish a healthy relationship with social media. Always keep these things in mind to avoid losing an objective perspective of what social media is and how it is different from real life. If you are currently suffering from depression, talk to your doctor about what is bothering you so that you can get the treatment you need to get better. Tell your doctor about your social media use and see if they could give you some advice on this topic.

Reference

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