From Four Walls to a Haven: How to Create a Home That Nurtures Happiness and Connection 

By Rowena Joseph / 11 July 2023

happy, happiness, happierA Symphony of Smiles in the Warm Embrace of Family Bliss. Photo Source: livemint.com


  • Unlock the power of family connections and transform your home into a blissful haven. Learn the art of shared meals, disconnecting to reconnect, affectionate gestures, choosing joy over worry, establishing routines, sharing childhood adventures, and cherishing traditions. Explore the simple habits that can make a profound impact on your family’s happiness.


Many of us consider “home” to be a place of varying thoughts and opinions. We may believe that a home should be clean and filled with laughter, love, joy, and comfort. However, I have come to realise that a home is not just about living within four walls. It is about watching everyone in the home, going to friends’ and relatives’ homes, and developing a unique perception of making a home a happy haven.

Happiness, if seen closely, is difficult to put a finger on, it’s a combination of your overall satisfaction with your life as well as your feeling about your current state. One of the best ways to cultivate a happy life is to create a happy home. Your home should be a haven you retreat to daily for restoration. Instead, many people feel anxious and unsatisfied with their current environment, drastically reducing their quality of life. Creating a home that promotes daily satisfaction and moments of joy is key to pursuing a happy life.

There are countless things that can make us smile, such as looking at a picture of a puppy or listening to a funny podcast during our commute. Implementing these happy habits in our homes, where we spend the most time, can greatly improve our quality of life. Regardless of who we live with, whether family or friends, adding happiness to our home is essential.

Creating a happy home doesn’t have to be complicated. Start small by adopting 7 simple habits that can transform your home into a haven of happiness.


1/ Sharing a Table: The Beauty of Eating Meals Together!


happier Pokok.AsiaThe best memories are made around the dinner table. Photo Source: Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration


Sometimes, the idea of having meals together as a family may seem impossible or cliché. However, shared meals offer an opportunity to slow down and connect during busy days. It doesn’t have to be an everyday occurrence, but making an effort to have at least one meal together as a family unit can make a significant difference.

If you’re the first one to be back home after work or school, consider heading to the kitchen to prepare a few meals that are your family’s favourites. Before doing so, send a message to your family, saying “I am going to prepare dinner. I will be cooking your favourite meals, so try your best to be back home on time.” Although it may be difficult for family members to make it on time due to overtime or urgent tasks, sending a message like this shows that you value shared meals and encourages others to make an effort.

Weekdays can be tough, and cooking a meal or getting everyone back on time may seem stressful. In these situations, consider prioritising your favourite meals at a favourite restaurant on weekends.

There was a time when my parents made it a “must-do” to have family dinners together at a particular time. However, it became challenging to keep up with our different and tight schedules juggling between studying and working. My mother used to send me messages whenever she cooked our favourite meals, asking me to come back on time so that we could eat together. I realised that we have 24 hours in a day, and there’s always a way to find time to spend with loved ones, whether they’re family or friends living under the same roof. Prioritising shared meals has created a sense of closeness among my family members. So if you haven’t started doing this, make it a point to have shared meals regularly. Trust me; it will be the best feeling ever.


2/ Let’s Disconnect to Reconnect, WHY NOT?


happier Pokok.AsiaLost in Digital Wonderland, Through the screens realities unseen. Photo Source: usnews


Have you ever tried disconnecting to reconnect? It’s important to understand that disconnecting doesn’t just mean putting away your technological devices. It can be as simple as putting down the book you’re reading when your family members are around you in the living room. Sometimes it can mean stopping the chores and communicating with the people around you. However, these things are often easier said than done as we tend to get distracted by everything that surrounds us.

So, how can we encourage everyone to communicate with each other for 20-30 minutes a day? Maybe when you decide to have that time to share your feelings and communicate with your loved ones, try getting a basket to collect everyone’s phones, laptops or whatever it can be and put them away. This way, no one would have the urge to get distracted, and it will be a habit that is healthy for everyone. A healthy environment leads to a happy and positive atmosphere for everyone in the household.

Personally, I used to get yelled at by my mom for being engrossed with my phone, and I hardly spent time talking to them or at least spent some time in the living room. Most of the time, I would come back and rush to my bedroom, but as the years passed by, I started to realise that it was not healthy at all. So, why cultivate an unhealthy habit? Try doing this at home to see if it works for the better because I am sure it definitely will.


3/ Hugs, Kisses and High-Fives!


happier Pokok.AsiaAffection, oh so radiating and compassionate. Photo Source: westchesterhealth


Sometimes openly expressing affection is viewed as a sign of weakness, whether it’s to a family member, friend, significant other, or spouse. However, this is far from the truth. Showing your loved ones how much you care and love them is essential for fostering a happy home filled with peace, joy, and contentment. It can be as simple as giving a high-five, hug, or kiss to your loved ones before going to bed or leaving the house.

Why is this important? Well, sometimes we take things for granted and think that it isn’t crucial as long as we know that we love the person. However, as the saying goes, “small gestures go a long way.”

There was a time when my family didn’t perform these gestures often. Although we are close-knit and enjoy each other’s company, we didn’t express our affection towards one another, which I believe is unhealthy, particularly when living under the same roof. If someone in your family has had a rough day, they may not share it with you, but if you make it a point to hug or kiss them, the feeling of ease that they will feel is unexplainable.

Therefore, my advice is simple. Start cultivating the habit of expressing your affection openly. It won’t take much of your time, and there is nothing to lose by letting the other person know how much they mean to you.


4/ Choosing Joy Over Worry!

happier Pokok.AsiaA Journey of Choosing Joy, Illuminating Every Step. Photo Source: Choosing Joy


This can make everything seem worse, and these thoughts can take over our minds and lives. However, even in difficult times, there is always something to be grateful for. Whether it’s our health, family, friends, food, a job, or education, it’s important to focus on the good things in life too. Not only is it good for our minds and souls, but it also creates a positive and pure atmosphere at home.

Choosing to focus on the positive means choosing joy over worry. It’s normal to be influenced by our surroundings, but a happy home should consist of happy and positive people. Simple acts of kindness, such as telling your loved ones to have a great day or complimenting their appearance or work, can make a big difference in their mood and well-being.

I was fortunate to grow up in a family and have friends who always saw the good in life, even during challenging times. I learned to take a positive outlook and see how I could grow from difficult situations. Focusing on the good things in life is a habit that takes practice, but it’s worth the effort. Start small by reading positive things, saying positive things to one another, and watching things that promote a positive mindset. By doing so, you can improve your disposition and create a happier and more fulfilling life.


5/ A Sense of Togetherness, IT’S NEVER TOO LATE!


happier Pokok.AsiaRoutines, meant to help, not HINDER. Photo Source: raisingchildren

As humans, we thrive on structure and routine in everything we do, especially children. Have you ever wondered why your child’s teacher says they are perfectly behaved at school, but they’re absolute monsters at home? This is likely because of the structure and routine provided during the school day. Everything happens predictably and routinely, from recess to lunch, reading time, sharing, and flag salute, all at the same time every day.

While your home is not a school or office, establishing predictable routines or activities at home every week can provide many benefits. Predictable routines are already present at home, like Taco Tuesday, family movie night, evening bike rides, and Sunday morning pancakes. These activities don’t have to be expensive or extravagant, but they do require consistency. They create a sense of rhythm that fosters a happy family, making your home a comfortable haven.

Try creating a schedule where each member of the household performs their routines, from kids to adults. Everyone’s name can be on the timetable with the chores they need to do for the day. Some routines can be shared between family members, so if one person sweeps on Monday, someone else will do it on Tuesday. This won’t be so stressful or rigid; it will create a sense of flexibility among family members, instead of having one person do everything each day.

My family and I never stuck to routines, and we used to do things whenever we had free time. However, this was not fair as one person usually ended up doing most of the chores. My mom used to yell at me for not helping around the house enough, so we started creating a timetable where each person did something every day, and it helped a lot. Routines like these also strengthen the bond between family members because you’re doing things together. Routines don’t always have to be chores; even doing other outdoor activities together can be a routine to bond with your family members. For families who haven’t started doing this yet, this is an opportunity to grow together as a unit by establishing weekly practices.


6/ Childhood Adventures, WOOHOO!

happier Pokok.AsiaThe good old memories, that makes life worthwhile Photo Source: unsplash


Have you ever heard of how people connect through shared stories? Building that connection with your loved ones is crucial for creating a happy home. Children, in particular, find it fascinating to learn about their parents’ lives when they were their age. We all love hearing stories about people’s past experiences and the fun things they did along the way. These stories remind us how time changes with the seasons.

These conversations don’t have to be formal or structured; simple chats during car rides or while having meals with each other can be enough to create a meaningful connection. You can also sit around together on the living room floor and look through old photo albums or watch home videos. These are all opportunities for sharing adventures and creating beautiful moments.

Growing up in an Asian-Indian family, my grandparents and parents often shared stories about their childhood and how active they were. These stories would often come up when they saw us, their grandchildren, spending too much time on our gadgets instead of being outdoors. Listening to our elders share about their past experiences was always entertaining. We laughed and enjoyed a joyful atmosphere. This is something that all families can incorporate into their daily conversations.

7/ Traditions, Memories that Last a Lifetime!


happier Pokok.AsiaThrough Time’s Tapestry: Generations United, Weaving Traditions That Forever Endure..cms-tc


When your kids look back on their childhood, they are not going to remember the flashy gifts or expensive gadgets. Instead, they will cherish the experiences and time spent with loved ones. Adventures don’t have to be extravagant to count. You can do simple things like lighting up firecrackers, sipping hot masala chai while driving around looking at Diwali lights, and making traditional Indian sweets, also known as “Mittai.” These are all inexpensive activities that you and your family can look forward to each year. Other races and religions can adapt to their own ways of practicing their traditions, which do not have to be limited to specific festive celebrations but can be done anytime.

As a child, I used to pester my parents to take me to my grandparents’ house during Diwali. I looked forward to indulging in all the traditional cookies and sweets my grandmother made and playing with firecrackers with my cousins. Festive seasons are a time to gather together, and now as an adult, I still look back on those memories fondly. Parents can establish their own family traditions that their kids can cherish and remember as they grow up. Performing these traditions at different times will ensure that your children will not forget them and will have those moments to hold onto. These are all worthwhile moments to reminisce about.

Prioritizing family connections for a happier home

Transforming your home into a happy and peaceful haven might seem like a daunting task, but it’s actually quite simple. By taking the time to slow down and connect with your loved ones, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere in your home becomes natural. Emphasizing the importance of people over possessions is key to achieving a happy home. When you prioritize your family, all the other pieces of the puzzle fall into place, creating a space that is comforting and full of joy.


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