One Year Later: The Impact of Communication

By Jessi Farmer, MA
Faculty, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Posted on August 24, 2016  in  [ Language & Communication ]

Where were you a year ago?

Take a minute and think about what you were doing. Who were you with? Perhaps you were on vacation or you were preparing for the upcoming school year.

One year ago today, I was recovering from a traumatic accident. I am only alive today because of my family’s fast action and the grace of God.

The fourth of July marked the one-year anniversary of my accident. Shortly after July 4, I had lunch with a friend, who looked me in eye and said, “Can you believe where you were a year ago and where you are now?”

To be honest, she asked me the question I had been asking myself.

Health

As a result of my accident, I learned an important life lesson firsthand: Our relationships make us healthier. In fact, I attribute my full recovery to friends, family and God. Many of our most notable disciplines (communication, psychology, nursing, etc.) have studied the connection between social relationships and health. Our relationships provide us with a holistic sense, including feelings of happiness, comfort, self-affirmation, love, nurturing and safety (Chinn, 2014).

Communication

As a scholar of communication, I have studied the link between social relationships and health. I know that communication is a tool for building and maintain relationships, but it was not until I experienced its healing effects firsthand that I became a true believer.

When I came home from the hospital, Professor Danaher and his family were waiting for me with flowers, pictures drawn by his children and the comfort that comes from friendship – I instantly felt better.

Communication gives our relationships deeper meaning and is used to create multiple types of intimacy in our relationships. Studies have found that increases in intimacy lead to decreases in symptoms (Stadler, Snyder, Horn, Shrout & Bolger, 2012). For me, this meant less pain.

I was blessed to have friends and family who helped in my recovery. But it was the quiet moments when I was alone and afraid that I needed the most important relationship – my relationship with Christ.

Romans 5:3-5 tells us that “suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” As I prayed, I endured and I was given hope as my body healed.

Years to Come

Looking forward I want to develop healthy habits and I encourage you to do the same. I now have a standing lunch date with my uncle every Saturday, I make a point to call my mom, I send messages to friends when I think about them and most importantly I pray.

A Bachelor of Arts in Communication is just one of the many degrees offered by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Grand Canyon University. To learn more, visit our website or contact us using the Request More Information button at the top of the page.

References:

  • Chinn, P. L. (2014). Relationships and health. Advances in Nursing Science37(2), 83-84.
  • Stadler, G., Snyder, K. A., Horn, A. B., Shrout, P. E., & Bolger, N. P. (2012). Close relationships and health in daily life: A review and empirical data on intimacy and somatic symptoms. Psychosomatic Medicine74(4), 398-409.

About College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Letters and Voices is a blog that explores the impact of communications and language in our daily lives. The choices we make in the communication messages we send and receive structure the nature of our relationships, drive our motivations and values in career and community, as well as create positive solutions to address current problems. We hope that you will find these blog entries engaging and thought-provoking as you reflect on the impact your own communication choices have in your life and the lives of those around you.


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