When it comes to holiday gifts and Christmas presents, there’s one thing that has no price tag and isn’t available in stores — but is sure to be loved and appreciated by your friends and family. We’re talking about you, and the gift of being present for those around you.
Why Being Physically Present Matters
We can talk to them through text, video chat, or even social media.
But while these digital connections can be meaningful and helpful, there is still something to be said about being present — and specifically, being physically present.
Let’s take a quick look at why being physically present for your family and loved ones is so important.
The Benefits of Physical Presence
Being physically present allows us to establish a deeper connection with our family members and friends. It also helps us create an environment of trust and understanding that may not otherwise be possible through a digital conversation. That being said, physical presence doesn’t just have an emotional impact; it also has tangible benefits that shouldn’t be ignored.
For instance, when you spend quality time with your family or loved ones in person, it often provides an opportunity for open and honest conversations that wouldn’t happen over the phone or online. This type of face-to-face interaction is incredibly valuable because it gives everyone involved a chance to truly express themselves without any distractions or filters getting in the way. Of course, this isn’t always possible when communicating digitally.
Another benefit of physical presence is that it allows us to better understand other people’s feelings and emotions by reading their body language and facial expressions. This can help foster empathy and understanding between two people, which is key for creating strong relationships that can last a lifetime. Plus, physical presence makes it easier to pick up on subtle nuances in conversations that might otherwise go unnoticed when speaking remotely via computers or phones.
Next, being physically present offers us something that digital communication simply cannot—a sense of touch. Whether it’s a hug, handshake, or just holding hands with a loved one during dinner, touching another person can go a long way toward strengthening our relationships with them in ways we never expected. Studies have even shown that physical contact such as hugging can boost oxytocin levels in both parties involved in the exchange!
Finally, being present physically and hugging or expressing your love and appreciation physically can even be a boon for your immune system. “Cortisol, the stress hormone, prioritizes short-term survival over long-term health,” explain the doctors at the University of Pennsylvania. “This leads to a weakened immune system and a greater chance of getting sick – unless oxytocin sweeps in and saves the day. Oxytocin has the ability to undo cortisol’s effects and restore the body’s balance, improving immune function and your odds of fighting off viruses and infections. If you’re already eating an apple a day to keep sickness away, consider adding a few smooches to your daily regimen, too!”
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Ultimately, there is no substitute for spending quality time together with your family and loved ones in person—no matter how much technology advances throughout the years! Not only does physical presence allow us to establish deep connections with one another through touch and nonverbal cues but it also encourages more meaningful conversations than what would be possible over the phone or computer screen alone. So don’t let technology get in the way of establishing strong relationships; make sure you take the time out of your busy schedule to make sure you are always there for those who matter most!
Try the following ideas for being present and giving the gift of your physical presence to your loved ones, friends, and family members.
Being Present: How to Give the Gift Of Your Presence to Others This Christmas
1. Make Time for Quality Conversations
We’re all guilty of getting caught up in our own lives and not taking the time out of each day to talk with family and friends. It is important that we make time for quality conversations that will help strengthen our relationships.
Set aside some time every day or every week specifically dedicated to talking with those you care about—you could swing by their work with coffee, or ask to drop by with a homecooked tray of holiday treats.
You could even offer to do something with them, such as going for a walk, seeing a Christmas parade, or helping them shovel snow. This will show your friends and family members that you care enough about them to give them your undivided attention.
2. Be Mindful of What You Say
It can be easy to say things without thinking when we have conversations with our friends and family members, but being mindful of what we say can go a long way toward fostering positive relationships. Before speaking, take a moment to think about how your words might affect the other person before saying them out loud. Being aware of how our words might come across will help us communicate more effectively and ensure that everyone involved understands one another better.
3. Put Away Your Devices
In today’s digital age, it is becoming increasingly difficult for us to unplug from technology when spending time with others. One way we can practice being present is by putting away our devices when spending time together so that we give the other person our full attention instead of being distracted by notifications or emails coming through on our phones or computers while they are speaking.
Even if this means taking regular breaks from scrolling through social media or checking emails throughout the day, these moments free from distraction can help ensure that we remain focused on building meaningful connections with those around us instead of getting caught up in the virtual world.