Everyone wants to be happy but achieving that personal ambition is not as easy as just wanting it to happen. Pressures in life impact on our feelings of wellbeing, sometimes considerably, leading potentially to severe emotional problems.
In the Defence family context, it seems that frequent transfers, as is the case in any military organization, affect a family’s feelings of wellbeing and happiness. But looking deeper reveals that the overriding factor in achieving positive family outcomes is the family’s perception of the move and how well the family has integrated in the new location.
The family’s sense of belonging and successful integration into the new community has been found to be a strong predictor of positive family outcomes. A number of studies show that children of military couples actually enjoy a number of benefits from moving around, especially in the development of social skills and confidence in different situations – along with a broader education experience.
For children, a sense of wellbeing and happiness in the new location is very much dependent upon the parents’ behaviour and perception of what’s going on. A number of programs exist to help people improve their situation. For example, some hospitals run programs developed for the Department of Veterans Affairs, aimed at people who perceive that their life is not all they want it to be.
Other challenges relate to ‘where to go from here’ after being in an institution such as the Defence Forces for a long time, which can lead to a quite stressful situation. However, the problem with emotional stress is that it doesn’t really go away, and it’s better to work through those issues with a professional counsellor.