After a study, the Oregon State University recently concluded that resolving an argument can be a productive trait for our mental health. When we disagree with someone, it is critical to snap out of it as soon as possible. The study found some interesting results that are worth noting.
According to the study, when you resolve an argument, our natural emotional response to the disagreement reduces considerably. Moreover, we can completely get over the emotional response.
Science Daily discusses the recent study explaining how resolving disagreements is a significant boost to our mental health. Ultimately, it can help us live healthier and longer.
Reduced Emotional Response Could be Prolong Lives
The researchers believe that the reduced response to a disagreement can have some interesting impacts on our general health and mental peace. Robert Stawski, the senior author of the study, believes that stress is a standard part of our lives, and stressful situations frequently arrive as we grow.
However, it is critical not to get tied to them. So, when we resolve such situations and bring them to an end, it brings a positive change to our health and mental health in the longer run.
Robert added that resolving arguments is one of the keys to maintaining mental well-being.
Chronic Stress and Health
It is no hidden fact that chronic stress is a directly affecting agent to our health. It causes problems like depressions, anxiety, and numerous physical problems like weaker immune response, heart problems, gastrointestinal issues, and problems giving birth.
Moreover, it’s not only the more significant problems like violence and poverty that induce mental stress. There are minor stressors that affect our health daily.
For instance, more minor problems that we experience throughout the day can go on to become more significant with time. Hence, they end up causing inflammation and cognitive disorders, etc.
Dakota Witzel is the lead author of the study who is also a doctoral student focusing on Human development and family studies at the Oregon State University.
The Study Setup
The National Study of Daily Experiences catered to the primary data requirements. It’s a detailed survey where more than 2000 participants shared their experiences and feelings for continuous eight days.
The research team then analyzed the data to understand how the feelings changed due to stressful situations. Some participants went into arguments and the ones who didn’t. The ones who avoided discussions did it as an option.
The researchers measured the impacts of the individuals’ incidents through the change in emotions, either positive or negative. They measured the changes for the day of the adventure and the next day.
According to the researchers, the term ‘reactivity’ indicated the rise in negative emotions and decreased positive emotions upon an incident. The reactivity was measured for the same day when the incidents happened.
On the other hand, ‘residue’ is prolonged emotional baggage that the individuals may carry for the next day. Like the reactivity, residue may also consist of negative or positive emotions.
The research results indicated that those who resolved their arguments in the day experienced half the reactivity compared to those who avoided the arguments. An unresolved dispute weighed down the participants.
Moreover, the results for the next day created more distinction between the two groups. Those who resolved the matters did not show any signs of prolonged negative emotions on the next day.
Some Critical Parameters
In addition to emotions, the researchers also looked at age as an influencing parameter. It mainly showed up when analyzing whether the individuals wanted to resolve the matter.
So, adults aged above 68 years were 40% more likely to resolve their arguments than adults aged under 45 years.
As far as the negative and positive emotions are concerned, it didn’t change much no matter the participants’ age.
Researchers believed that age had much to do with the results. Firstly, they mentioned how older adults might want to reduce the negative emotions mainly because they have fewer years to live. Moreover, it’s a fact that satisfies the theories of emotions and aging.
Also, older adults are more experienced in resolving and navigating through an argument. Their ability to conduct effective dialog can also be a contributor to the higher resolution rate.
Stawski believes that if older adults can resolve stressors quickly, they are more likely to enhance their emotional well-being.
Lack of Control as a Stressor
Stressors are a standard part of our lives, and sometimes, the lack of control of emotions itself is a significant stressor. So, those who can’t control their feelings must work on controlling their emotional response to reduce stress.
Stawski added that many people have an instinctive reaction to situations. However, if they can tone it down and try approaching a stressor more productively, it can help them attain long-term benefits.
The research from Stawski and Witzel is a unique yet eye-opening discovery. It’s a great example, why one should control their emotional response and come out of an argument peacefully.
Carrying emotional baggage due to stressors will only worsen your mental health and indirectly cause physical health problems.
The duo of researchers aims to discover more out of the subject by studying the human response to disagreements to understand how certain situations and relationships tend to induce more stress and arguments.