With the holidays just around the corner, you’ve probably participated in a dozen traditions in the past few weeks alone. You may have gone Black Friday shopping with your mom to snag some deals, made gingerbread houses and cookies with your kids, and got the family together to decorate the tree while drinking hot cocoa.
Did you ever wonder why you carried these traditions on? Or why you’re so excited to start your own unique family traditions as your kids get older?
Well, science says it’s because it makes us happier! And this doesn’t just apply to holiday traditions. Everything from pizza Friday to annual family vacations can help make you smile.
Do you want to know why? Keep reading to learn how traditions can boost your mood.
It Gives You More Chances to Reminisce
It’s no secret that thinking about happy moments in your past can make you happy. We’ve all told a funny story from our childhood and were left with a smile on our face just thinking about it.
Family traditions make reminiscing so much easier. You’ll already have a whole collection of happy memories to think about.
When you carry these traditions into adulthood and do them with your children, you’ll be more likely to reminisce to the days when you were a kid. Plus, nothing beats that special connection you get when you see just how much fun your child has, doing the same traditions you enjoyed at their age.
There are Opportunities to Bond with Family
Does your family eat dinner in front of the TV? Or maybe your schedules are so hectic, you don’t always eat dinner together.
These are all too common today, but it can make it harder for families to bond. Keeping traditions alive can help you feel closer to your family because it gives you a chance to talk and share a special moment together.
Having dinner together (away from the TV), going on family vacations, and attending holiday events are great examples of this. You can get more info on the best holiday events in Myrtle Beach to start a new family tradition this year.
You Get Happy Memories of Loved Ones
We’ve all had a loved one pass away. It’s always sad, but those happy memories you have with them are what helps you through trying times.
Bonding over unique family traditions is one of the best ways you can remember your loved ones.
This can be especially important if you didn’t see them very often. Those traditions will become the main thing that helps you feel connected to them even after they’ve passed away.
It Builds Anticipation
Christmas really is the best time of the year. You get to see distant relatives, take some time off work, and indulge in sweets galore–it’s no wonder why 46% of Americans claim it’s their favorite holiday!
Think about how happy Christmas (or any other holiday) makes you. But holidays are only so exciting because they’re made up of traditions.
Baking cookies, reading stories about Santa, attending church, decorating a tree, exchanging presents, and having dinner with your extended family members are all common Christmas traditions. If you didn’t partake in any of these traditions, Christmas would just be like any other day.
Traditions, whether it’s something as big as Christmas or as small as your weekly movie night, give you something fun to anticipate. When you’re struggling to get through your monotonous work week, you can look forward to movie night or count down the days until your favorite holiday to relieve some stress and put a smile back on your face.
It Gives You A Sense of Stability
Have you ever felt like your life was out of your control? Maybe your spouse got transferred to a new city and you had to move. Or maybe you got laid off and you didn’t know when you’d be back at work.
These changes take a huge toll on your mental health. And that’s because humans like stability.
Traditions can offer a sense of security during difficult and confusing times. You may not know what your new city will be like but knowing that you’ll still have family dinners every night, and you’ll still enjoy your Sunday afternoon phone call with Mom and Dad can help you feel happier and more in control.
Maintaining these traditions is especially important if you have young kids. They may not fully understand what is happening, so they’ll cling to their favorite traditions to maintain some familiarity in their life as they adjust to big changes.
You Form a Stronger Connection with Your Heritage
Do you fast for Ramadan, light firecrackers for the Chinese New Year, or indulge in the feast of 7 fishes for Christmas Eve? These are all common traditions that can help you form a stronger connection with your heritage.
It’s common to take on many American traditions when you grow up in the United States. But keeping some of those cultural family traditions alive can help you form a greater sense of identity. Not only are you American, but you can also identify with your Muslim, Chinese, or Italian background.
This can help you feel more confident in yourself and proud of your family’s history, which can both lead to feeling happier. Plus, celebrating traditions that stray from the American norm can help you feel unique and special.
Keep Celebrating Those Unique Family Traditions
Don’t let your busy life get in the way of your happiness. Celebrating your unique family traditions (and starting a few of your own) can really make you a happier person.
Are you trying to get through the holidays without drinking? Then check out these tips today to stay festive and sober.