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 activities.

    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 most.

    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 healthy relationships.

    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.

    The Study 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 Psychosomatic Medicine).

    Two other important family health factors that are tied in to 'emotions' are:

    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 line.

    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 both parties.

    Setting Boundaries For Family Health

    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 the family.

    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.

    When 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?

    If 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 wellness exercise
    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 goals.

    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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    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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