Having a conversation with a companion every day is beneficial for your mental wellbeing, academics have said.

Researchers from the University of Kansas have found that catching up with a mate every day makes you feel happier and less stressed.

Lead author Professor Jeffrey Hall said: “This paper was an attempt to define quality communication in the context of relationships.

“The types of communication we chose to study were ones shown in past research to make people feel more bonded through conversation.”

The seven types of communication that benefits your mental wellbeing include showing care, listening, offering sincere compliments, meaningful talk, joking around, catching up and valuing others and their opinions.

During the study, the team of scientists looked at the mental health of more than 900 university students.

Each participant filled in a daily survey to outline their feelings of anxiety, stress, loneliness and happiness after engaging in one of the seven communication behaviours.

According to the findings, reaching out to a friend improved the participant’s mental wellbeing, despite what communication method they used.

Professor Hall noted: “One of the take-home messages of this study is that there are many paths toward the same goal.

“There’s a lot of good research that says the number of interactions you have as well as the quality of interactions are both associated with being a less lonely, happier and more connected person.”

He added: “The experimental design means that it’s not just people who are already having fulfilling lives who have high-quality conversations.

“This study suggests that anyone who makes time for high-quality conversation can improve their well-being. We can change how we feel on any given day through communication. Just once is all it takes.”

Previous research conducted by Professor Hall has found that in-person communication is better for your mental health than communicating virtually.

From his prior studies, Professor Hall concluded: “If at least one of their quality conversations was face-to-face, that mattered.

“Across these three studies, quality conversation mattered most for connection and stress. This supports the idea that we use communication to get our need to belong met, and, in doing so, it helps us manage our stress.”

Read the full study in the journal Communication Research.

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