All of us want to enjoy a happy, low stress life. Perhaps even more, we want our children to have a happy, low stress life. I’d like to say if found a way to make that happen 100% of the time…unfortunately, I can’t. But a recent study suggests that one simple activity, done on a daily basis, will lead to a greater sense of well-being, reduced stress and greater happiness.
The study involved 900 participants and revealed that engaging in one quality conversation during the day led to a greater sense of well-being at the end of the day. If the person engaged in more than one quality conversations during the day, they experienced an even greater sense of well-being. Not surprisingly, “face-to-face” communication was more closely related with well-being than electronic or social media contact. A quality conversation may include catching up with a friend, joking around, listening, discussing a meaningful topic, sharing opinions in a manner to promote mutual understanding, or offering sincere compliments. With this information in mind, how can you encourage daily conversation for your family members? After all, doing so will contribute to a greater sense of well-being for your spouse and children.
First, enjoy conversation within your family. I know it sounds obvious but talk to one another every day. Talk about your day, current events, or future plans. Share your fear, joys, sorrows, and moments of pride with one another. Remember, you don’t need to agree to have a quality conversation. You do need to listen, understand, appreciate, and accept.
Second, encourage friendships. Allow your family to get involved in various groups in which they can develop friendships. Your children and your spouse (even you) will benefit from opportunities to have meaningful relationships and meaningful conversations outside the home. To help your child do this, you may become their friendship coach.
Pretty simple, right? Enjoy conversations within your family. Encourage friendships in which family members can enjoy conversations with those outside your family. As the authors of this study said, the “more you listen, the more you show you care, the more you take time to value other people’s opinions, the more you connect, the better you… will feel at the end of the day….” and so will your family.