According to the results of a study, chatting to a friend just once throughout the day to joke around, catch up, or let them know you’re thinking about them can boost happiness and reduce stress levels by the end of the day.
The kinds of communication the researchers looked at were those that had been shown in previous studies to improve bonding by conversing.
There were 7 kinds of communication:
- Joking around
- Offering sincere compliments
- Catching up
- Valuing others and their opinions
- Meaningful talk
- Showing care
Over 900 individuals were instructed to participate in 1 of the 7 communication types in one day, and they then had to report back at the end of the day about their feelings of loneliness, well-being, anxiety, connection, stress, and quality of day.
It didn’t make any difference which type of these conversations an individual had, just the act of deliberately contacting a friend in one of these ways was what was most important.
The study was also meant to look at the effect of both the quantity and quality of everyday communication.
There’s a lot of research that suggests how many interactions and also interaction quality are both linked to being a happier and less lonely individual. This study found that one interaction a day is enough to make a difference, but individuals who had more quality conversations had happier days.
What this means is that the more time taken listening to your friends, the more time taken valuing others’ opinions, and the more time taken showing care, the happier you could be at the end of the day.
The study shows that it’s not only individuals who already have fulfilling lives who have higher-quality conversations. The study indicates that any individual can improve their mental well-being by making time for high-quality conversation. How we feel on any day can change through communication and only one conversation is all it takes.
The researchers also looked at previous studies on different ways that we connect in the time of mobile and social media. It was revealed that face-to-face communication was more strongly linked to well-being compared to social or electronic media communication.
The researchers also explain why quality communication improves happiness. Communicate Bond Belong theory indicates that individuals make use of conversations to help get their need for belonging met.
Quality conversation was most significant for stress and connection. This supports the notion that communication is used or getting our need for belonging met, and it helps in managing stress in doing so.