We’ve all had moments where words just can’t capture how we feel. And in those moments, usually sending an emoji (or many emojis) does the job. Well, did you know that doing this actually has health benefits? Read on to learn more.
Research Findings 🔬
In this study conducted by a mix of healthcare and psychology experts, researchers conducted a multi-level analysis on how young adults (ages 16 to 24) responded to using emojis when communicating their emotional and mental wellness through a daily survey. Experts also investigated if certain emojis, or a series of emojis, were related to certain mental illnesses.
Researchers found that participants who used more positive emojis were less likely to express feeling negative emotions. Researchers also found that emoji patterns, or a series of emojis used to describe a mental state or feeling, could be useful to healthcare professionals in identifying a person’s mental state or disposition.
These insights pair well with survey findings from the 2021 Global Emoji Trend Report which suggest emojis make people feel more comfortable communicating and connecting with others. 90% of users felt that emojis made it easier for them to express themselves, and more than half of users felt more comfortable using emojis to communicate than talking in-person and that using emojis positively impacted their mental health.
Health Benefits ❤️
So how do emojis really improve a person’s health? And why do emojis have such a positive impact?
Well, communicating can be difficult, especially when it comes to talking about your mental and physical health. Emojis offer a relatable and easily recognizable way to quickly share how you feel to someone else. They can help break the ice, lighten the mood, or bring attention to an issue in a way that is more manageable than a phone call or in-person chat.
Using emojis can make all the difference between a person seeking treatment, and avoiding treatment due to feelings of isolation, anxiety, or rejection. By removing a level of stress from the conversation, people can more easily talk about their health needs and seek the resources they need to recover.
Impact On Care 🩺
The benefits of emoji-use have inspired some healthcare providers to incorporate emojis into their standard communications. Since emojis inspire feelings of empathy, and are easily recognized by the public, messaging that includes emojis are more likely to be well-received and can help create more opportunities for people to improve their health literacy, talk about their health concerns, and access the treatment options they need to be well.
This can be especially helpful for individuals who struggle with depression, anxiety, or thoughts of suicide. People with one or more of these conditions often avoid treatment due to perceived stigmas.
With this month being National Suicide Prevention Month, it’s useful to stay informed on the warning signs and risk factors of suicide and reach out to friends and loved ones that may be at risk. Studies show that 1 in 5 Mississippi youth ages 13 to 18 will experience a severe mental disorder at some point in their life, so creating safe spaces for friends and family to talk about their mental health is very important.
Help break the stigma surrounding treatment by inviting conversation and sharing information on supportive resources, like the new 988 helpline. You can even practice sharing updates by sending a quick emoji to a loved one who may be slow to respond.
Get the Facts 📚
Check out these articles to learn more about mental health, stress awareness, sexual health and more: