Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

    Advertising

    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”

    Advertising

    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. ”

    Advertising

    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

      More by this author

      Daydreaming Indicates A Well-Equipped Brain, Study Says How Weight Lifting Can Change The Structure Of Your Brain, Science Explains Weight Lifting Might Lead To 46% Reduced Risk Of Death Applying Vicks On Your Feet Can Clear Cough? Experts Explain To The Babies Who’ve Gone to Heaven, You Won’t be Alone

      Trending in Communication

      1 12 Ways To Improve Social Skills And Make You Sociable Anytime 2 No Motivation? 7 Great Ways To Overcome Loss Of Motivation 3 13 Ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently 4 7 Ways to Make Life Changing Decisions 5 7 Ways to Overcome Your Fear of the Unknown And Get More Out of Life

      Read Next

      Advertising
      Advertising
      Advertising

      Last Updated on June 27, 2019

      12 Ways To Improve Social Skills And Make You Sociable Anytime

      12 Ways To Improve Social Skills And Make You Sociable Anytime

      If you feel like you’re the awkward person at social events or you struggle to enter into conversations because you’re shy, it can impact your social life and your career.

      However, you can start improving your social skills by following these 12 strategies and soon, you’ll be able to enter into conversations with confidence.

      1. Behave Like a Social Person

      You can behave like a more social creature, even if you don’t feel like it.

      Don’t allow anxiety to hold you back. Make the decision to talk to new people and to enter into conversations even when you’re feeling nervous about it.

      Over time, it will get easier and you’ll quickly start improving your social skills.

      2. Start Small if Necessary

      If going to a party or spending time in a crowd seems overwhelming, start small.

      Go into the grocery store and say, “Thank you,” to the clerk or go to a restaurant and order your food. Practice making small talk gradually.

      3. Ask Open-Ended Questions

      If you want the attention off you in a conversation, get familiar with open-ended questions. Encourage others to talk so you won’t have to make the idle chit-chat.

      Advertising

      Ask questions that require more than a yes or no answer and you may open the door to invite the other person to keep the conversation going.

      Take a look at these tips on How to Be Amazingly Good at Asking Questions.

      4. Encourage Others to Talk About Themselves

      Most people really enjoy talking about themselves. Ask a question about a person’s career, hobbies, or family. Show you’re interested in hearing what is being said.

      If you want to keep the conversation going, you should make it like playing ping pong. Learn more about it here: How to Connect With Someone Deeper Within a Short Time

      5. Create Goals For Yourself

      Establish some small goals for yourself. Perhaps you want to practice one particular skill or maybe you want to start attending a social activity in your community.

      Establish a goal and begin to work on strategies that will improve your social life.

      Even better, learn to use SMART Goal to help you communicate better.

      6. Offer Compliments Generously

      Compliments can be a great way to open the door to a conversation. Offer a co-worker a compliment on a presentation he gave at a meeting or compliment your neighbor on his new car.

      Advertising

      Compliments can show others that you are friendly and there’re more reasons Why You Should Pay a Compliment to Someone Every Day.

      7. Read Books About Social Skills

      There are many books on the market that can help you learn specific social skills and ways to start conversations.

      However, keep in mind that reading about these skills won’t make you an expert. You’ll need to practice them over and over again.

      Some books recommendations here: 20 Powerful Books to Win You Friends and Influence More People

      8. Practice Good Manners

      Good manners go a long way in improving social skills. Practice being polite, showing gratitude, and using good table manners.

      9. Pay Attention to Your Body Language

      Non-verbal communication is very important. Pay attention to the type of body language you use.

      Try to appear relaxed, make appropriate amounts of eye contact, and appear open to conversation.

      Learn how to properly use your body languages here: Be Instantly Irresistible With These 10 Body Language Tips

      Advertising

      10. Join a Social Skills Support Group

      Many communities offer social skill support groups. Support groups help people who feel shy, awkward, or extremely anxious in social situations learn and practice new skills.

      You’ll start improving social skills and may be able to make new friends who understand your difficulties.

      11. Stay Up to Date on Current Events

      Read up on current trends and news stories so you have something to talk about with people.

      Try to avoid anything that is too controversial, such as politics, but do talk about other news stories that may be of interest.

      It can be a great way to start a conversation and can help you stick to neutral subjects.

      12. Identify and Replace Negative Thoughts

      If you have a lot of negative thoughts about your social interactions, it could become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

      For example, a person who thinks, “I’m really awkward and I will embarrass myself,” may sit in the corner at a party. As a result, he may leave the party thinking that he must be really awkward because no one talked to him.

      Identify negative thoughts that are likely dragging you down. Replace them with more realistic thoughts such as, “I can make conversation and I can meet new people.”

      Advertising

      Don’t allow yourself to dwell on thoughts that aren’t productive! Find out How Not to Let Negative Thoughts Trump the Positive Vibes.

      Good social skills are essential for effective communication. If you find socializing with others a challenge, start to take on my suggestions and practice each of them consistently.

      Great social skills don’t come easily, you need to practice yourself and really try these tips by talking with others.

      More About Social Skills

      Books Recommendations

      Articles Recommendations

      Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

      Read Next