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A single conversation with a friend can lift your mood

A recent psychological study conducted by the University of Kansas found that just one conversation with a friend about almost any topic can lift your mood, improve your mental well-being, and reduce your stress levels.

A meaningful daily conversation can raise your tone and keep it at a high level throughout the day. This is the conclusion reached by scientists studying human communicative behavior.

The authors of the experiment were Professor Jeffrey Hall, Amanda Holmstrom, Natalie Penington, Evan Perrault and Daniel Totskei. They also published the results of their work in the journal Communication Research, showing how friendly communication lifts a person’s mood and well-being, improving his overall psychological state.

Psychologists, using both nationally representative samples and random, experimental samples of individuals’ days, have provided evidence that frequency of social interaction is also a consistent positive correlate of many positive psychosocial outcomes.

how to lift the mood

To lift the mood? But through what kind of conversation?

Unfortunately, not every dialogue helps to get rid of depression, apathy, stress or increase self-esteem after a hard day at work. For communication to be “therapeutic,” it must be structured in a certain way. At the same time, avoid the topic of providing services and physical affection, which is more appropriate in a romantic relationship.

Here are 8 possible communicative behaviors during a conversation, each of which enhances the quality of the relationship between two friends:

  • Catching up – discuss information that you haven’t had a chance to talk about due to busyness or lack of time.
  • Meaningful conversation – to lift your spirits, talk about something significant to both of you.
  • Humor and jokes – don’t engage in overly serious discussions; just have a laugh.
  • Text messaging – replace verbal dialogue with texting in messaging apps.
  • Care – show empathy and care about your friend’s concerns during the conversation.
  • Attentiveness – simply listen attentively to what is being said to you.
  • Respect – demonstrate to your friend that you value their opinions and advice.
  • Compliments – don’t hesitate to give sincere compliments to your conversation partner during the dialogue.

More than 900 study participants from five college campuses were instructed to use one of these communication behaviors throughout the day and, that evening, report on their mood, feelings of affection, anxiety, well-being, loneliness, and the quality of the day.

As it turns out, it doesn’t matter which conversation variation was used. The act of intentionally reaching out to a friend in one of these ways is important.

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Quality or quantity? What will help lift the mood?

According to Professor Jeffrey A. Hall, the study was conducted to examine not only the impact of the quality, but also the quantity of daily communication on improving a person’s mental well-being.

There is a lot of good psychological research, the results of which indicate that the quantity and quality of interactions with other people directly affect feelings of loneliness and life satisfaction.

And while this study found that just one friendly conversation a day is enough to lift your mood, it’s better to talk to your friends more often. The subjects who had more meaningful and frequent conversations seemed much calmer, more cheerful, and more confident than others.

This means that the more you listen to your friends, the more often you show respect and care even during casual chats with them, the better you will feel throughout the day.

In addition, it has been proven that direct face-to-face dialogue has a greater impact on a person’s emotional well-being than electronic contacts or communication on social networks.

From here we can draw a simple conclusion – those who find time for quality communication with a friend can improve their well-being. And there is nothing complicated here; each of us is able to independently cheer up on any day through communication. One conversation is enough.

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