It’s good to talk

Back in 1994, a well-known Englishman going by the name of Bob Hoskins coined the well-known phrase â€it’s good to talk’. And while it might be over twenty years old now, the phrase is arguably more important today than it’s ever been.

Indeed, the world as we know it has changed dramatically since the 1990s. Back then, a good old chinwag over the landline telephone was a regular day to day occurrence in many households worldwide. But not now. In 2020, it has all but been replaced with a text message, a â€WhatsApp’ or an email. Our social interactions and daily conversations have been replaced by brief character counts on a small digital screen.

And while today’s society has certainly gained a great many benefits from advancements in technology, it cannot be denied that there have also been a few victims along the way. As the evolution of technology pressed on at full steam ahead, slowly but surely, the art of authentic human communication started to slip away, quietly into the background – and to the detriment of both young and old alike.

The loss of those daily conversations has had a tremendous impact on our society’s mental health and wellbeing. For both our younger and older population, there are far fewer genuine opportunities to really connect on a human level – the result of which is a dramatic increase in the number of people living with a sense of loneliness and social isolation.

But all may not be lost. As the world begins to pay more attention to the importance of our individual mental wellbeing, here are five key benefits we could all receive by re-introducing daily telephone conversations back into our lives:

Benefit 1: Active conversations mean active minds

Don’t take my word for it – listen to the science. Experts worldwide have spent years studying the impact of human social interaction on the functioning of the brain and the results are unanimous. Regular, day to day conversations are good for the mind. They help to boost our cognitive functions and they help to keep our minds sharp. In short, daily conversations help to keep our minds fit and keep illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease at bay.

Benefit 2: Strength in numbers

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase â€strength in numbers’ or a â€problem shared is a problem halved’ – and well, both are true. Having daily conversations boost your sense of social wellbeing and whether it’s a loved one, a friend, a colleague or a new found companion, sharing your thoughts, feelings, experiences and emotions boost your personal resilience and your ability to cope with the pressures that life brings.

Benefit 3: A sense of self-worth

There’s something really comforting about knowing there’s someone who genuinely cares for you at the end of the phone. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship where two people talk and two people listen. You bond. You reminisce. You problem solve. You debate. As part of a meaningful and authentic conversation, you feel a great sense of self worth. Just one daily conversation reminds you that you have a place in this world and you matter. And that’s priceless.

Benefit 4: A healthy mind is a healthy body

According to experts, loneliness and social isolation are a greater risk to our mortality than obesity. In fact, there are a long list of potential physical health issues associated with loneliness and social isolation, from heart disease to an increased stroke risk. Needless to say, daily telephone conversations are absolutely vital to both our mental and physical wellbeing.

Benefit 5: Boost those feel good vibes

What do dopamine, endorphins and oxytocin all have in common? Not sure? Well let me tell you. They are three chemicals our bodies naturally produce in response to positive interactions that make us feel good. And regular conversations will help release each and every one of them. You might say they are our happy chemicals, or our feel good chemicals. But whatever label you chose, releasing them is great for our mind and body and they will come about as a result of having a meaningful conversation everyday.

So whether you’re feeling lonely and isolated, or whether you’re worried that someone close to you might be suffering, you can make a massive difference by picking up the telephone and reaching out. Because just as Bob Hoskins said, it really is ‘good to talk’.

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