Health Hub Non verbal Communication and Social Wellness
Posted by Kimber Harding
December 1, 2015
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One of the dimensions of wellness that often gets overlooked
is our social health. Research has shown
a strong correlation between health and social relationships. Benefits include:
- Increased quality of life
- Increased years of life
- Decrease risk of cardiovascular conditions
- Decrease risk of depression
Check out this video about the benefits
of social relationships and health
This upcoming holiday season provides us many opportunities
to socially interact with others around us.
Whether reconnecting with family and friends or creating new
relationships, communication skills play a crucial role in accurately conveying
and understanding what is being communicated.
We often recognize verbal communication but adding the crucial aspect of
non-verbal communication can enhance our social experiences.
Dr. Edward G. Wertheim authored The Importance of Effective Communication and explained that
non-verbal communication can effect overall communication in 5 different ways:
- 1.Contradiction: they can contradict a message the
individual is trying to convey
- 2.Substitution: they can substitute a verbal
message. For example, a person’s eyes
can convey a far more vivid message than words do
- 3.Repetition: they can repeat the message the
person is making verbally
- 4.Complementing- they may add to or complement a
verbal message. A pat on the back in
addition to giving praise can increase impact of the message.
- 5.Accenting: they may accent or underline a verbal
message. For example, pounding the table
can underline a message.
Communication is critical to our social health and wellness. It can also affect our mental and emotional
health. Understanding the impact of
verbal and non-verbal communication can enhance both our listening and speaking
skills. We will be able to effectively
share our thoughts and messages and allow others the opportunities to do the
same. As mentioned earlier,
relationships can be created, enhanced, or even repaired through effective
non-verbal communication. Below are some
common non-verbal communication methods from helpguide.org, a group that
focuses on mental health and well-being:
- Facial Expressions- Can you recognize your own
as well as others facial expressions?
- Body Movements and Posture- What message is your
body conveying through standing, sitting, etc.
- Eye contact- Where are our eyes drawn during
- Touch- How do you react to touch? How would your
listener react to touch?
- Space- Do you feel bombarded while trying to
communicate? Can others recognize you are communicating?
The understanding and awareness of non-verbal communication
can change your lifestyle. It can also help you better understand who you are
and how you interact with others and your environment. As you practice these skills, be mindful of
your progress and the growth of others because sometimes what is being said
isn’t what is really being communicated.
Check out our Healthy Holiday Tracker for more ways to
enhance our social health
Image Credit: Be
Inspired to Achieve
Image Credit: Lily
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