The key to family happiness may NOT come from the activities you think

We often think that the best times as a family happen when we do new, different and exciting activities together, like going on a big vacation or go see a play. But a 2016 study may offer some reassuring news to parents who aren’t making big plans for their families. “Leisure time spent at home may actually be a more effective way to foster true, long-lasting happiness” In fact, researchers at Baylor University surveyed more than 1,500 people about the types of family leisure activities they engaged in in the past year and they found that those who stayed home and did more routine, familiar activities more often were actually happier than those who had done more adventurous activities, outside the home. 

Other research reinforces the notion that people are more likely to feel engaged--a concept that the study calls “flow”--when they are participating in structured activities, like games, having a meal together etc.

But before we assume that all time at home is meaningful, it is important to point out that the study differentiates between “home time” and “family time.” And that some families also confuse the terms. Being at home together certainly doesn’t always constitute “family time.”

"Families often add unfamiliarity or stimulation to their family time by multi-tasking, like playing board games but also checking social media posts," she says. "Therefore, two common rules are no phones and no television as these are common distractions during family time. While kids—and possibly parents—may not like the idea of rules, providing boundaries around family time and during family time actually enhances the time together for everyone."

At Joy, we built a product that is centered around creating more space in your life for dedicated, undistracted and quality family time. With the Joy Photo Album, you and your family are together flipping through the pages of your life, and not being pulled away by social media apps, calendar alerts or emails popping up on the screen. We designed it to be the happiest place in your living room. The thing that draws you in and closer to one another.

Quality time with family, when done right, can clearly be very rewarding--the essence of a happy life and now studies show, it doesn’t require a passport either. We hope you can have that time with your family as we as people become busier, more distracted, and less meaningfully connected. Perhaps we can all aspire to do one full night of family time: start by breaking bread together. There’s nothing truly like sharing the love of food and catching up around the dinner table. And then for dessert for your soul, head over to the couch and get lost in all of the life moments you have created together.