Have you ever tried to have a healthy conversation with your family and felt like you were hitting your head against the wall? If so, you are not alone. Many of us struggle to communicate effectively about health. However, research shows that health communication can affect both the individual and group level.
When we can communicate effectively about health, we are more likely to make healthy choices for ourselves and those around us. Want some easy tips to improve health? Get started at home! Here are some ideas to start the conversation about health with your family.
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How to Talk About Health with Your Family
Ask Your Family Members About Their Health
When it comes to our health, we often keep our thoughts to ourselves and do not voice our concerns. We might be embarrassed or are worried about what others will think. But the truth is, we all need support to get healthy. So why not start the conversation by asking them about their health? You might be surprised at how open they are to talking about it. And who knows? They may even offer some helpful tips!
We all want to inspire our loved ones and see them succeed. But sometimes saying "I am going on a diet" or "I’m starting a workout routine" can be perceived as overly critical or even disrespectful. It may come off that you think your family is unhealthy when they need a little help living healthier lifestyles. Instead of talking about what is wrong with their current situation, be positive!
Remind yourself and others that you are working toward making the family's lives better in general. They will appreciate having someone encouraging them rather than judging them; people respond well to positivity!
The battle for wellness takes time. You don’t have to set out trying to change everything at once, and it can be helpful—and more effective—to enlist your family’s help in making small changes one step at a time.
Some things might not work as you planned or hoped, but these setbacks are opportunities to learn from experience and try again. Remind yourself that healthy living is an ongoing process; do not get discouraged if you fall short of your goals on occasion or feel that others are not responding as well as you would like them to. It will happen if you stick with it; sometimes, we need our loved ones to learn from their own experiences rather than simply listening to us tell them what they should do.
Make it Fun
For many people, health is a sensitive subject. But it is crucial to have these conversations in a fun way that promotes openness and ease. If possible, try making fitness-related family events and plan fun family exercises – whether it is heading to an amusement park or playing basketball at home – so that staying active becomes an enjoyable experience for everyone involved. Involving children in your diet and exercise plans can also be effective – and there are lots of resources to help your kids eat healthy on their own, and get excited about eating healthy too!
Though it can be difficult, talking openly and honestly about our health is one of the best things we can do for ourselves. This includes any concerns or areas of worry we may have. Don't be afraid to talk about your health journey - including your struggles and successes. Doing so can help build community and support for others on their health journey. Plus, it can also help identify any potential obstacles or challenges ahead. So, what are you waiting for? Start talking!
How have you talked about health with your family? Leave some tips in the comments!
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“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.”
Hebrews 6:10 (NIV)