Four Reasons to Video Chat
Author: Lauren Hunsberger | Posted In: Live | April 2020
While you might be experiencing some screen fatigue from all the at-home work, it’s important to make one more call at the end of the day—to your best friend. Maintaining friendships during periods of isolation can have profound health effects including boosted immunity and lowered stress levels.
1. Eye contact makes us happy
Just looking at a friend can immediately boost your mood. According to Psychology Today, oxytocin production (an important hormone involved in mood regulation) is triggered during direct eye contact with a loved one. This can heighten feelings of empathy, closeness and calmness. So, during your next video call, try to look directly at your friend as you would if you were in the same room. It might be tempting to look around your own house but take the time to make the connection and both parties will walk away a little happier.
2. You have a powerful voice
Similar to eye contact, when we hear the voice of someone we care about, it automatically produces a cascade of hormones that have important psychological benefits. Lydia Denworth, author of “Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, And Extraordinary Power Of Life’s Fundamental Bond,” explained during a March interview with NPR that “you still get lots of benefits from virtual communication because hearing the voice of someone you care about can reduce your stress levels.”
3. Chatting boosts your immunity
Have you ever vented to your BFF after a long day at work and walked away feeling lighter? Or, have you ever laughed with a loved one about an inside joke and immediately felt more joy? Studies show that friendships often provide safe spaces to share and expereince your feelings (both positive and negative) and the simple act of doing so actually affects the body physiologically. Denworth says, “Your level of social integration, so either how connected you are or how isolated you are, affects cardiovascular functioning, immune system functioning, cognitive health, mental health and even the rate at which your cells age.”
4. Community gives us purpose
Aside from the happy hormones and the immunity boost, connecting with friends is proven to give you a greater sense of purpose. The Mayo Clinic says maintaining friendships can “increase your sense of belonging and boost your self-confidence and self-worth.” Bottom line: being a good friend can help you feel useful, productive and important.