Healthy communication

Let each other talk, pay attention to a friendly tone of voice, don't always reproach each other, don't nag so much - these rules of conversation could come from a communication seminar. Or from a medical seminar. Constant arguments and quarrels - between the partners and also between parents and children - cause illness. That has now been proven.

We have always known this:"taking something to heart" is colloquially spoken when you feel particularly concerned. Or it can "break someone's heart","pound their stomach" or "go to their kidneys".

It is now clear how the psyche and thoughts can influence the body and its organs. To be precise, the researchers have already found at least two ways in which thoughts can be transmitted to the body. The first is the way through the stress hormones, which permanently damage the body. The other is the direct path from the thoughts to the control centres in the brain. Let us take a closer look at the two mechanisms.

Effect of stress on the immune system

If you argue in the family all the time, you feel uncomfortable in your skin. At some point, one no longer likes to sit at the breakfast table together, one avoids the others as much as possible. Permanent quarrels lead to the fact that the family no longer means a refuge of security. Security, security and protection, however, are strong basic human needs. If they are not present, this leads to a strong stress experience. Stress, in turn, is associated with the release of certain stress hormones. For a short time this can be good, because we are then very concentrated and vigilant. But then the stress hormones have to be broken down again, otherwise they damage the body. The influence of stress hormones is particularly strong in the following diseases: Eating disorders, autoimmune diseases such as rheumatism or psoriasis, high blood pressure, myocardial infarction, asthma, diabetes mellitus, intestinal inflammation, weak immune system. Depression, exhaustion and a lack of self-confidence can also have their origins in permanent conflict or stress.

The direct way from the thoughts to the control centres in the brain

But the psyche can do even more. With the help of the thoughts we can influence the individual organs in a targeted way. This is a finding from modern placebo research at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. The following has been established here: Organs are not controlled exclusively via deeper areas of the brain that are not accessible to consciousness. But also - and this is sensational - via brain regions close to consciousness. Our thoughts, our desires and hopes affect our organs. More or less all the organs. In other words, if we take a drug in anticipation of a certain effect, we contact the appropriate body. The effect we have on the organ is even stronger the higher our expectations of the drug.

Now we have heard a lot of theory, which shows that we influence the psyche with our attitude to life, our way of life and our thoughts. But what does that mean for us now?

Start the day with a shared breakfast and sit down. This is the best start for you and your family. Not only because of the nutritional values you take in with a decent breakfast, but also because of the positive effects on the psyche. The same goes for coming home: The children had a stressful lesson, eating together in the family or in the crèche, which in this case takes over the role of the family, helps the children to cope with their experiences.

In the family situation, use a sensitive antenna to locate the mood and especially the needs of others. Is it a need to be left alone with the children? Or do you want to talk? In many cases, the mistake is made of trying to talk too much about the children and the partner instead of just listening.

If the children have a problem, it is about developing solutions. However, the solution is often already available to people who ask for help, including children. But instead of just serving the children the solution on a silver tray, attentive listening is called for with the aim of understanding. How does that work? You can positively influence the direction of the conversation by asking friendly questions. Example: Ask for a school friend "Is he or she having problems with the class teacher? No? Why not?" Let the kids tell it. If the child tells what the girlfriend or boyfriend does differently in school, this could also be a solution to the problem.

Important for healthy communication is: No monologizing! No accusations! No whipped emotions! This way everyone feels more comfortable, there is no permanent stress and the family climate is not negative, but positively noticeable in the health.


Copyright: Landeszentrale fuer Gesundheitsfoerderung in Rheinland-Pfalz e.V. (LZG) Germany

Text: Dr. Beatrice Wagner, Editor: Birgit Kahl