Reduce Stress by Resolving Guilt
Everyone has heard the adage that couples shouldn’t go to bed angry. What you may not know is that this advice can apply to your other relationships as well. Research done by Oregon State University found that the emotional response after any unresolved argument can be stressful.
Stress can damage our mental, emotional, and physical health. Stress causes the release of hormones in the body that can, over time, raise our risk of diabetes, heart disease, digestion issues, and even dementia. It can cause anxiety disorders, depression, and damage the immune system.
While a lot of research has focused on big stressors, like illness, war, violence, racism, and more, the minor stresses we have daily can build up and have lasting impact on mortality and cause inflammation and more.
Research found that people who had arguments and settled them experienced positive emotions in general, both for the rest of the day and the next day as well. When people felt they had resolved an argument, the emotional response associated with it was significantly reduced, and sometimes even entirely erased. Conversely, participants who had unresolved arguments, or simply swept the issue under the rug, felt negative emotions for the rest of the day, and also through the next day.
An interesting finding was that the emotional impact of unresolved conflict was about the same for all people of all ages. Both people in their 20s and senior citizens are equally likely to stew over lingering arguments. But adults were found to be 40% more likely to resolve their conflicts.