Family Matters: Impact of Family Relationships on Your Mental Health

Ana Maria Isabel C. Guevarra

Graduate Intern

Family: they're the people in your life who know you best and love you anyway." ​- Phil Dunphy, Modern Family

​In this fast-paced world, our mental well-being often takes a backseat to hectic schedules and demanding lifestyle. Amid the chaos, however, is an aspect that remains constant – our family relationships. Just like the beloved characters of the hit TV show “Modern Family,” we all have our own unique and, sometimes, quirky dynamics with our loved ones. The experience is different for everyone, which makes you wonder: How do these family relationships truly impact our mental health?

The Role of Stress and Support
In the whirlwind of our multi-faceted lives, stress often takes a toll on our mental health. But thankfully for some, family members are there to lend a helping hand and may provide a comforting presence during the challenging times. Receiving support from family works wonders for a person’s self-esteem. Knowing that we are valued often uplift our spirits, this makes us have a more positive outlook in life which paves the way for better mental well-being.

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Benefits of Positive Family Relationships
Picture this: a warm, nurturing family environment where loved ones guide and inspire each other to make healthier choices. Our family members may act as mentors, imparting valuable knowledge and offering unwavering support in our journey towards well-being. By fostering positive family relationships, we create a shield against the negative impact of stress. It’s like having a safety net that protects us from the harmful effects of life’s pressures, contributing to our overall health and happiness.

​​Consequences of Relationship Strain
Unfortunately, not all family relationships are perfect. When strained relationships cast a shadow over our lives, our mental health bears the brunt of the burden. Ongoing tension and conflicts within the family can be draining and detrimental to our well-being. The constant stress from these strained relationships weakens our immune system, puts a strain on our hearts, and increases the risk of depression. It’s crucial to address these issues head-on and actively work towards resolving conflicts to safeguard our mental well-being.

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Conclusion
In the tapestry of our lives, family relationships are the threads that hold us together. They provide us with emotional support, guidance, and a profound sense of belonging. Positive family connections create an environment where mental well-being thrives, offering a sanctuary from the storms of life. Conversely, strained relationships can cast a dark cloud, negatively impacting our mental health. Therefore, it is important to prioritize healthy family connections, fostering open communication, empathy, and seeking support when needed.
 
By nurturing positive relationships within our families, we weave a tapestry of love and support that enhances our mental well-being, paving the way for a happier and healthier life.

About the Author

Mariel Guevara is a graduate intern currently completing her MA in Developmental Psychology at the Ateneo de Manila University. She is passionate about empowering children through education and fostering healthy parent-child relationships. As a Research Associate for a Mental Health and Substance Use Research, she also advocates for increasing access to mental health services (especially to those most in need). In her free time, she enjoys playing sports, playing video games, and traveling.

References:

Scott, E. (2023). How to have healthy family relationships with less stress. Verywell Mindhttps://www.verywellmind.com/healthy-family-relationshps-and-stress-relief-3144541
 
Thomas PA, Liu H, Umberson D. (2017). Family relationships and well-being. Innov Aging, 1(3), https://doi.org/10.1093/geroni/igx025

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