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Couples Who Communicate Openly Are Less Likely To Suffer From Back Pain

Couples Who Communicate Openly Are Less Likely To Suffer From Back Pain

Couples who have learned to talk to one another in a meaningful way may actually live healthier lives. Studies have revealed that there is a link between communication styles in couples and their health. We have all heard the stories of what can happen to our bodies and health when we hold on to stress.

Doctors have discovered holding on to stress can cause a slew of detrimental problems from cardiovascular disease to high cholesterol. Now researchers have determined that how we communicate or do not communicate with a life partner or spouse may be a major player in health problems including back pain.

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back pain
    (Photograph courtesy: Dr. George Gertner, webmd.com.)

    The Study:

    To test the hypothesis that the way we communicate may cause health problems Robert Levenson, a psychologist at UC Berkeley, decided to conduct a longitudinal study where they videotaped couples every few years while asking questions. A longitudinal study is one where researchers observe and gather data from the same subjects over a long period of time.  In this study the researchers were interested in how the couples communicated with one another, and about their health. During the observation couples were closely watched as they communicated with each other.

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    The observers were watching the couple’s body movements, eyes, facial expressions, and even at how tight they held their mouths closed. These observations led to some very interesting findings. Researchers found that if one of the individual’s in the conversation appeared to explode or yell louder they were the one at risk for health problems such as high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems. If one partner appeared to shut down in the conversation, which generally means that they are bottling up their emotions, this person would be more likely to suffer from back problems or even stiff necks.

    The Findings:

    When the study had concluded Levenson (2016) stated that: Our findings suggest particular emotions expressed in a relationship predict vulnerability to particular health problems, and those emotions are anger and stonewalling”

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    These findings coincide with another study conducted by Tugade, Fredickson, and Barett on how positive emotions and coping skills play a role in health. These researchers (2005) found that “emotional disclosure can produce significantly enhanced health functioning”

    Couples that learn to communicate effectively, which means without explosion and without shutting down emotions, may live healthier lives. Luckily there are couples therapy sessions for those of us who are not sure how to openly communicate with our significant other. In a study on couples distress researchers Lebow, Chambers, Christensen, and Johnson (2012) found that:  “Couple therapy positively impacts 70% of couples receiving treatment. The relationship between couple distress and individual disorders such as depression and anxiety has become well established over the past decade. Research also indicates that couple therapy clearly has an important role in the treatment of many disorders. ”

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    couple talking
      (Photograph courtesy: Willy, flickr.com)

      The Test of Time

      Couples who have lasted for years, have already found that open communication between them is the key to it all. These couples are physically and mentally healthier, and they are happier because of it. Open communication helps couples to develop closer bonds with one another, which leads to more intimacy in the marriage.

      When hard times hit in this life, we need a partner who without question will help us through it. We need to depend on our partner and trust them to be there. We need to be that person for them as well. We do not want to see our partners in pain or see them ill so we learn to talk to them, share with them, and build a life through that open style of communication.

      Featured photo credit: Photograph courtesy of Joanna Kitchener via flickr.com

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      Last Updated on June 3, 2020

      19 Definitions Of Success You Should Never Ignore

      19 Definitions Of Success You Should Never Ignore

      What is success?

      Is it wealth? Is it happiness? Is it fame?

      The late Zig Ziglar was one of the most respected modern day experts on success, motivation, and leading a balanced life. In his book Born to Win!, he argues that success cannot be defined in one sentence, but instead it is comprised of many things. One could argue that the definition depends on the individual and that one size does not fit all[1].

      Here are 19 different definitions of success. Not all of these will resonate with you, but chances are at least a few of them will. Use these or find inspiration here to create your own definition of success that can be applied to your unique life.

      1. Success is always doing your best.

      Success can be achieved when you try your best in all aspects of everything you do, even if that doesn’t lead to big results. If you’ve done your best, you should feel proud of your efforts.

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      2. Success is properly setting concrete goals.

      Be realistic and concrete when setting goals. Success does not come from setting abstract goals. If you know where you’re heading, that is a success in itself, even if you don’t ultimately arrive to the planned destination.

      3. Success is having a place to call home.

      Home is where your heart soars. You are always successful when you can call a place home. Home doesn’t have to be a specific structure. It can be a country, a city, or even a person. If you have a place you feel comfortable and safe, you’re already achieving something great.

      4. Success is understanding the difference between need and want.

      If you can meet your monthly obligations and fulfill your basic needs, you are successful. Being able to identify when you absolutely need something and when you can do without it often leads to financial stability and is a great way to succeed.

      5. Success is believing you can.

      If you believe you can, you will succeed. Self-belief doesn’t come naturally to everyone, so if you’re able to tell yourself that you can achieve the goals in your plans, you’re doing great.

      6. Success is remembering to balance work with passion.

      Work without passion creates undue stress and empty achievements. Focus on what excites you. If you’re happy at your job, that’s great. However, even if you aren’t, you can balance your formal job with hobbies or volunteer work you’re passionate about.

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      7. Success is taking care of your needs.

      Remember to put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others. Self-care is essential if you want to have any meaningful impact on the world around you.

      8. Success is learning that you sometimes have to say no.

      Success only comes with a balanced life. Part of balance is learning to say no. Saying no doesn’t mean you are selfish; it simply means you have priorities and know what you need to give your attention to at any given time.

      9. Success is knowing your life is filled with abundance.

      Love, health, friends, family…life is filled with abundance. Recognizing this is an important step to feeling grateful for all life has given you. If you can feel this, you are already experiencing success.

      10. Success is understanding you cannot keep what you don’t give away.

      You will only succeed if you help others succeed. Learning to give instead of always take is part of creating a world we all want to live in. When you help others, you will also create an environment where others want to help you.

      11. Success is overcoming fear.

      Conquering a fear makes you feel invincible. Even if it’s confronting just one small fear each week, that is certainly something to feel proud of. The bigger fears will take more time, but any work you do to overcome fear will lead to success.

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      12. Success is learning something new each day.

      Successful people understand that learning never stops. Take time each day to converse with someone with opposing views, read an interesting article on a topic you know little about, or watch a TED talk on new research. It doesn’t take long to learn, so get started now.

      13. Success is learning that losing a few battles can help you win a war.

      Successful people choose their battles wisely. When you know which battles will ultimately help you achieve your goals, you will be successful.

      14. Success is loving and being loved back.

      Opening your heart to others is difficult and can produce fear. Having the courage to love and accept love from others is a step toward a fulfilling life and great success.

      15. Success is standing your ground when you believe in something.

      Successful people never give up on things they believe with all their heart. You may hold views that many people disagree with, but if you’ve done your research and know that it’s the right belief for you, you shouldn’t let it go without a fight.

      16. Success is not giving up.

      Perseverance creates grit, and grit achieves success. Even if it takes years to achieve a goal, persisting is key if you want success.

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      17. Success is celebrating small victories.

      Anytime a goal is reached or an obstacle is overcome, take time to celebrate, even if it’s something small. All goals require smaller objectives to be achieved first, so each time you complete one, take time to appreciate the work you put into it.

      18. Success is never letting a disability hold you back.

      Disabilities do not define a person’s success. The body and mind will compensate. Just because you can’t do absolutely everything doesn’t mean you can’t do something. Do what your body and mind allow and always push yourself. That is true success.

      19. Success is understanding that you control your destiny.

      Your destiny is controlled by you and you alone. Take responsibility for your actions and their consequences and you’ll find that you naturally become more successful.

      The Bottom Line

      Success can be defined in many ways. If you are experiencing happiness, love, or adventure in this moment, you’ve already found success. Keep it up.

      More Tips on Success

      Featured photo credit: Dino Reichmuth via unsplash.com

      Reference

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