Can you create a healthy family dynamic in your life? There may be no such thing as a perfect family, but we can seek to improve the most important relationships around us. By learning and living healthy behaviors, you can do your part to build more joy and love in your family.
In our growth, we allow God to provide the long-term transformation that we seek. Are you putting forth the effort for growth? Sometimes the exhaustion sets in and it gets difficult to put new behaviors into practice. Other times, we may start making progress and get too comfortable before a change occurs. Nevertheless, you can do it! Pick yourself up and get back into those healthy behaviors.
7 Tips to Create a Healthy Family Dynamic
1. Practice Healthy Communication
To achieve interpersonal effectiveness, healthy communication is key. At the core of this is learning how to express your needs and feelings in a way that is positive for everyone. Focus on being assertive rather than aggressive or passive. It can be difficult to feel understood and heard like this when you have not in the past. Instincts may have you coming on stronger than you would like.
Unfortunately, this response causes more harm. Quickly, the people around you go into defensive mode. Instead, start small by saying something like, “I require five minutes to
process our interaction before I respond.” This small act goes a long way. All it takes is for you to voice your need to pause and regroup.
The hope is that in this regroup time, you can determine the root cause of the emotion bubbling up. After this pause, you can begin the conversation with ‘I’ statements. Focus on statements that say, “I feel,” and “I experience.” This kind of speech will likely be more welcomed than statements that say, “You do this.” It is important to manage your anger. How can you do this? You may start with journaling, praying, and healthy communication.
2. Discover the Joy of Journaling
There may be times when you need more than five minutes to pause and process. Here is where it pays off to explore the joys of journaling. This time of reflection and meditation gives you the chance to let strong emotions and thoughts play out on the page. You can let them run free here without hurting others.
Keeping emotions and negative thoughts bottled up can lead to anxiety, depression, and other emotional issues. A study showed that adults who experienced elevated anxiety found relief by creating a habit of journaling for 12 weeks. What if you could reduce your stress and anxiety around family dynamics within 3 months? This solution is a medication-free way to improve your mental health.
3. Identify Your Deep Feeling
What hurt and other feelings are you experiencing deep down? Who might be contributing to these emotions? What is their point of view? How could your behaviors be having an impact on them? By placing yourself in their shoes, you may better understand an individual’s behavior.
Uncovering your true emotions can help you find clarity into what is affecting your family dynamics. You may also be able to help family members do the same.
4. Utilize Healthy Distractions
It is true, sometimes grown-ups require time-outs! Now, forget what you know about timeouts. Your kind of time-outs should be filled with fun activities or positive changes in the environment.
You may want to play a game, go for a walk or enjoy a favorite hobby. If you are stuck in the house, some people find doing chores or using a coloring book clears their minds. The main idea is to take a break so that you can return to the matter at hand refreshed.
What is an unhealthy distraction? Something that makes you feel worse as you engage in that activity. If social media helps you connect with loved ones, that may be positive. If it leads you to feeling bad and comparing yourself with others and their expectations, it may be more harmful. Consider what activities could be a positive time out for you.
5. Devise a Game Plan
Do you have a game plan if difficult family dynamics arise? Things may go much smoother if you already have tactics in place. When you feel overwhelmed, you may have a plan in place to request everyone pray or revisit the situation at a later time. Either of these things can help you think more clearly. It may also help to choose a safe place for communication.
What strategy you decide to use is up to you and your family. You can experiment and see what works best for bringing calm when family dynamics come to chaos.
6. Overcome Evil with Good
Love can cover a multitude of sins. This does not mean it is safe to stay in something like an abusive relationship. Instead, overcoming evil with good is about the moments when we feel heated and lash out.
By focusing on love, we hope to practice good behaviors instead of lashing out. Good behaviors that can make a difference include being humble and seeing God’s way, rather than your way.
7. Practice Breathing Exercises
Breathing exercises or other relaxation techniques are always a good choice when you are managing family dynamics or other stressful circumstances. You may want to start by thinking of a place you could envision in your mind. You might choose to imagine yourself at the beach, listening to waves, and walking barefoot in the sand.
Coming to a mentally happy place and taking deep breaths can make a difference as you face the challenges ahead. We all encounter problems in life. This is a common experience that ends up tying us together. There are many resources we have to help us through these experiences. You can find links to resources from Tanya here.