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Why Avoiding Conflict is Good for Your Emotional AND Physical Health

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  • Why Avoiding Conflict is Good for Your Emotional AND Physical Health

    The advice your parents once gave you to get along with your siblings and your classmates may be some of the best there is, as it turns out that people who have a lot of conflicts with others also have more health problems.

    A new study by researchers from Portland State University surveyed close to 700 older adults. Those who got along with their relatives, friends and neighbors were less likely to report health problems and physical limitations. Meanwhile, those who reported more negative social interactions also reported greater declines in their health.

    While the study stopped short of proving a “cause-and-effect” link between getting along and health, "the take-home message is that conflict in your life may have important impacts on your physical health," said the study’s lead author Jason T. Newsom, associate professor at the Portland State University School of Community Health in Oregon.

    This is not the only study to point out the importance of getting along. A study by University of Illinois researchers, for instance, found that kindergarteners who don’t get along with their peers and their teachers are beginning a “problematic pathway” of low, and often declining, school success.

    Conflict in your personal relationships can also be devastating. For example, couples that have hostile arguments -- those that involve domineering, controlling or otherwise nasty remarks -- are more likely to develop heart disease than couples who have calm discussions, according to University of Utah researchers.

    Why? Because the conflict triggers a stress response that makes your blood pressure stay high even after the argument is over. This, in turn, may damage your blood vessels and lead to clogged arteries, which can trigger a heart attack.

    So whenever a conflict arises, whether it is big or small, and with a stranger or a loved one, it is always to your advantage to avoid it. But how?

    “First allow yourself to remember that right and wrong are both concepts that are destined to cause suffering -- whether you feel you are right or wrong,” says Hale Dwoskin, CEO and director of training of Sedona Training Associates.

    “Then let go of wanting to be right or prove your point of view -- and be open to seeing it from the other person’s point of view,” he continues.

    The Sedona Method is the best tool available to show you how to easily let go of your 'need to be right at any cost.' Once you do this, the conflict becomes powerless over you, and you can keep your cool in any situation.

    “Also,” Dwoskin points out, “if you’re in a conversation that is starting to heat up, allow yourself to fully listen and be present with the other person. As you let go, this happens naturally and it is then much harder to create conflict.”
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