7 Surprising Reasons Why Communicating Openly with Your Partner Can Reduce Back Pain

The Importance of Communication in Couples’ Health: How a Longitudinal Study Explores the Link

Effective communication between partners is crucial in any relationship. But not only does it help to build closer bonds, it also has concrete implications for health. Research indicates that couples who communicate in a positive and meaningful way are likely to lead healthier lives, while those who hold onto stress and negative emotions may be at risk of developing health problems, such as back pain.

The Study: Longitudinal Observations of Couples’ Communication and Health

To test the hypothesis that communication styles have a significant impact on health, psychologist Robert Levenson of UC Berkeley conducted a longitudinal study. The study involved videotaping couples every few years while asking them questions about their communication and health. The observers closely monitored the couples’ body movements, eyes, facial expressions, and other movements during conversations. The findings were interesting and revealing, with some couples exhibiting specific communication styles that were linked to particular health problems.

The Findings: Anger and Stonewalling as Predictors of Health Problems

Levenson’s study found that emotions expressed in a relationship can predict vulnerability to specific health problems. The two emotions that emerged as significant predictors were anger and stonewalling. Researchers found that if one of the individuals in the conversation appeared to explode or yell louder, they were at risk for health problems such as high blood pressure and cardiovascular issues. On the other hand, if one partner appeared to shut down emotionally during the conversation, they were more likely to suffer from back problems or stiff necks.

The Role of Positive Communication in Health

Another study conducted by Tugade, Fredickson, and Barett explored the role of positive emotions and coping skills in health. The researchers found that emotional disclosure can produce significantly enhanced health functioning. Couples who learn to communicate effectively, without yelling or bottling up emotions, may live healthier lives. Fortunately, couples therapy sessions are available for those who need help communicating with their significant other.

Couples Therapy’s Positive Impact on Couple Distress and Other Disorders

Studies on couples in distress indicate that couple therapy has a positive impact on 70% of couples receiving treatment. The relationship between couple distress and individual disorders such as depression and anxiety is well established in research, and couple therapy has an important role in treating these issues.

The Test of Time: Open Communication’s Role in Lasting Relationships

Couples that have lasted for years know that open communication is key. These couples tend to be healthier and happier, as open communication helps them build closer bonds and more intimacy in their relationships. During hard times, partners who trust one another and communicate openly can support each other in ways that enhance both emotional and physical well-being.

The Takeaway: Prioritizing Communication for Healthier Relationships and Lives

In conclusion, a healthy relationship requires positive and meaningful communication. While stress and other negative emotions can lead to health problems, open communication can help couples build stronger emotional and physical bonds that endure over time. Couples who communicate effectively and seek help when needed are likely to enjoy a healthier, happier life together.

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