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How To Refresh Family Relationships

Lockdowns seem to come and go and we may have to live with them on and off for some time to come, ensuring that families spend more time together than perhaps they would in more normal times.

This can of course put a strain on family relationships.

Someone has seen the need for highlighting this!

And that is Sid Madge (founder of Meee which is My Education Employment Enterprise, an organization helping people to recognize and believe in their abilities here in the UK).  He is the author of a new book outlining sixty ways to help families to learn to laugh and love again.  It is called Meee In a Family Minute.

He says: "Sometimes we need new ideas or new ways of thinking and relating to each other.  Making small changes and undertaking new activities can help us get back and deepen our connection with each other."

Here is a selection of five of his ideas

  1. Creating a family bucket list.  He suggests taking a few minutes to sit down togbether and make a list of what you would like to do, to see or to experience together as a family.  You might not be able to tick off any of the items on the list for a while but it will be ready and waiting for your family when you can.
  2. Shopping less and experiencing more.  He points out that many busy parents are tempted to buy their children a gift rather than share an experience - the experience can take up time.  While this has been turned on its head during periods of lockdown with many parents learning that time spent together is really important to children, this trend needs to be continued.  Psychological research tells us that experiences make us happier than actual possessions.
  3. Our brains contain some 100 billion neurons but we tend to come up with negative stuff which is then loaded into our mental bag of rubbish which can pollute our relationships.  The author asks us to take a few minutes to think about the last decision we made and whether it consisted of negative vibes.  He wants us to empty out some of that rubbish from the bag lodged in our brains to make better choices.
  4. Learning how to say sorry.  He points out that if ever there was an environment where "sorry" was needed, it is the family but this is often the place where it is said the least.  He wants families to take ka few minutes to  consider a situation at home where an apology is needed and for that apology to be made, wiping the slate clean, allowing an open discussion and healing any lingering upset.
  5. And the best of the five has to be to laugh together.  While the loyalty, trust and affection we feel towards our family is developed gradually over time as we share live, experiences and laughter, the author points out that it is the moments of joy and laughter that we often remember the most as we age.  He reminds us that laughter is the glue that sticks families together just as much as love.

Did you know that 4 year old children laugh 200 to 300 times a day?

But us adults only laugh an average of 12 to 15 times a day.

Isn't it time we found more things in our lives to be happy about, encouraging us to laugh more frequently?  There are at least ten health benefits to be derived from laughter.

Why we need to laugh more often

When you laugh, your brain releases endorphins that create feelings of joy and euphoria. So don't let anybody ever stop you from having a good laugh – they could be harming your health.

Remember that you cannot laugh and be stressed at the same time.

So turn away from a sterner and more serious way of living to a lighter, laughter-filled lifestyle. Laughing is one of the few times when it is good to be contagious – if you are having a good laugh, chances are that those around you will join in too.

 

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