Connection is one of the most important parts of the human experience. Many people spend most of their life creating meaningful connections with groups of people that they work with, play sports with or share common interests with. However, the deepest bonds of most people’s lives are often the bonds they have with their family.
Family used to be of greater cultural importance to prior generations and there are signs that the traditional family unit is less cohesive than it used to be. There are many reasons however, why your family is essential to your happiness and health.
- Family Is Always There For You: Despite squabbles between siblings, or misunderstandings with children or parents, your family knows the most about you and has been there for you since you were a baby. They know you better than most of your friends or even your spouse. Your family will take care of you when others will not and will stick with you through thick and thin. Being without a sense of family is often a source of great distress to people, so those with a family to lean on in times of need should never take this for granted.
- Built-In Friends: Family brings with it automatic friendship. Your childhood and adult friends might be close to you and know a lot about you, but they were not there for every step of your growth as a person like your family. No one will ever know you better than your family and their friendship will often be deeper and more committed than friendships that are made outside the family unit. Simply put, your family just gets you.
- You Can Ask for Help: You might be lucky enough to have friends who are willing to be there whenever you need help, no matter what the help is, but that is not common. For many people, their families are the support system that will get them through hard times. Your family will also be willing to help you out if you forget how long it takes to hard boil an egg or if you can’t figure out how to change the oil in your car.
- They Can Make Things Fun That Aren’t Really Fun: How many friends of yours are willing to come and hang out while you pull weeds in your yard or keep you company while you pack up your house to move? For many people, their family members are the ones who show up to help pack boxes, to assist with boring tasks that no one wants to do or to show up after a breakup with some popcorn and a good movie. Family knows how to make you have fun even when you don’t feel like it, which is a huge blessing in times of need.
- They Help Educate You: Beyond the obvious parent and child learning that a family imparts, your siblings, cousins and grandparents all have lessons they can and will teach you. Shared culture inside of family units teaches us about loyalty and responsibility and helps us to define what’s right and wrong. And, you never stop learning from you family. They will continue to teach you lessons throughout your life. This is especially true of those with aging parents who experienced a vastly different world than their children when they were growing up. The shared knowledge structure of a family unit is better than any other social network at teaching you about life.
- Family is Good For Your Health: Being close to your family can offer many benefits for your health. The security of having people there to help you out can be great for your mental health and lead to better sleep, better emotional security and a myriad of other benefits.
Social media, the news and many other external pressures seek to drive a wedge between us. Your family rises above all of this noise to offer comfort, dependence and love even in dark times.