Family Health And Family Relationships
Do you think about personal relationships, family health and fitness
within the context of medical/physical wellness or do you tend to
look at the bigger picture?
By the 'bigger picture', I mean the total mind, body, spiritual
healthy relationship dynamics that are at play within your family
and close personal relationships.
As is the case with all your 7 dimensions
of wellness, there are key factors that relate to your family
and personal relationship dimension.
These factors can be broadly described in terms of:
The boundaries you set for personal relationships and family
How you observe/respect the boundaries set by family members
The extent to which you are able to receive or to express
concern/support/empathy, without unloading your own problems or
feel you are being overloaded
One key feature that will always come into play in family health
is, your emotions and the emotions of your nearest and dearest.
Because these relationships involve close attachments and family
bonds, the fact that fate, rather than choice has brought
you together, makes being objective that little bit more difficult.
Of all your 7 dimensions of wellness, family health and
personal relationships will therefore present as being the
most challenging areas you will work through in your goalsetting
For a healthy relationship to flourish however, you
must be alert to changes in the dynamics of these as you, your
partner, or family member change with the transition of time.
We look to and rely on the love and support of our families. To a
greater or lesser extent, we know we may even take for granted
the fact that family will always be there for us when we need them
However, there are times when even the most close of family
relationships can come under enormous strain, resulting in
family health and wellness issues.
There is good reason for paying closer attention to the dynamics
taking place in your family health and to the wider implications for less
Apart from the fact that we all need to
learn how to get on with those people who fate has chosen for us,
family health care and family bonding is largely dependent upon dealing
with family rucks and the setting of clear boundaries.
Dealing with rifts as they arise, prevent them festering into bigger
unresolved issues that not only keep individual members blocked but
can also lead to detachment that impinges on family health. Womens
health and personal relationships may be affected in particular.
According to a study carried out by Italian reasearchers, women
who experience difficulty in establishing close, trusting
relationships showed signs of weaker immune function.
which was carried out on 61 healthy women showed that the greater
women's attachment insecurities, the lower the activity in their
natural killer cells - key defenders against illness (Journal of
Two other important family health factors that are tied in to
The Parent/Child Boundaries
In Family Health
As in the case of womens health and personal relationships, exerting control over family
members carry its own risks.
As parents it is only natural that we
make decisions for and on behalf of our children. Make decisions however, without due consideration to the fact that
children are young adults with minds of their own and the seeds are
sown for conflict in the family health care department later down the
It is very easy to assume that we can simply just continue
dictating to our children or foisting our own values and opinions
on them even at a time when they are of a legal age to make
decisions responsibly for themselves.
Unless clear boundaries and lines of communications are established
as to individual family member's autonomy, at some point or another
they will simply put up staunch resistence to unwelcome
interference - even when this is from well-meaning parents.
The ensuing conflict can force the re-drawing of clearer
boundaries, which in itself can be a very painful experience for
Setting Boundaries For Family
Are you familiar with the saying 'the closer we are to someone,
the worse we tend to treat them?'
By worse, I mean - taking
our nearest and dearest for granted, not respecting their rights,
needs, wishes etc., Assuming we know what is best for them or
even placing heavy demands on them that we would not dream of
doing to anyone else?
Even where there exist extremely close family bonds, this simply
does not give any of us a passport to abuse our position within
Whether this relate to off-loading our own issues or
emotional baggage on family members or, asserting our opinions
or disapproval where it concerns their choices.
A classic example of off-loading, is where a family member is
going through a crisis and desperately need the non-judgmental
support of another.
Rather than getting support, s/he may find
him or herself in a situation whereby the
source of support is simply off-loading their own feelings of
inadequacy, guilt or helplessness regarding the issue, which in
any case does not directly affect them.
It is precisely at these times however, when we need to stand
back and take a good look at our role in such situations.
your support is sought, to fulfill that need you must recognise
that your own needs must be off-loaded elsewhere and not on the
person who has asked for your help. They already have their own
issue to deal with without having your own hurt, pain or guilt
foisted on them.
In the time it has taken you to read this article, have you
identified any family health goals you can set for yourself?
not a family health goal, then perhaps you have a womens health and personal
relationship issue you want to resolve? As always, when you
set goals, remember to focus on how you need to change and
not on how you want someone else to change.
Try this health skill for
to help you assess and score your
family health dimension. Do also consult this
5 part activity goal setting guidance for more indepth
guidance on setting your personal relationships and family health
To use the wellness wheel health womans exercise, simply follow
the principles you have used for your health dimension,
which has already been extensively covered throughout this site.
click here for a full explanation on
how best to use the wellness wheel.
"Wisdom is knowing what to do
next; virtue is doing it". (Unknown Author)
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Learn more here!
The information on this site is purely of educational value
and is not intended to replace your seeking medical advice. You
must consult your doctor over all your health concerns.
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