Mindful Monday … It Only Takes One

Just one conversation or call can do it. We do know that people are social animals and need that contact. But how much contact? And what kind?

According to this research study, people who talk to just one friend in a day (it could be about almost anything) have a better sense of wellbeing at the end of the day.

Over 900 participants engaged in this study in three separate time – before, during and after pandemic lockdowns. They were randomly assigned to talk about one of seven kinds of communication (catching up, meaningful talk, joking around, showing care, listening, valuing others and their opinions, and offering sincere compliments). At the end of their day, they took a survey measuring their sense of wellbeing.

The researchers wanted to know if mental health improvements were due to

A) the frequency of communication

B) the nature of the communication

Happy people together in the parkThe results, published in the journal Communication Research, showed that it didn’t matter which of these content categories the participants used – they were all beneficial in terms of improving wellbeing. Engaging in as little as one communication behavior with one friend in a day can improve daily well-being. In fact, it is the very act of intentionally reaching out to a friend in one of these ways that makes the difference.

In fact, it could just be the altruistic effort of reaching out that matters most. More research is needed of course, but it’s nice to know that you don’t have to “get it right” to make an impact.

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