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Happiness Happens Challenge Day 25

Updated: Sep 16, 2022



For today's challenge, share a meal with someone!


Why share a meal?

Research suggests that the simple act of sharing a meal can also support mental health and make us more satisfied with our lives

(Walker)


Why does eating together make us happier?


For most of us, sharing meals is the go to method for getting to know a new person or for catching up with old friends because of that common element of connection. Sharing meals is a social occasion and important for our social connections, and it has a huge impact on the well-being of our children. However, even if we don't have children, eating with others is a way to build friendships and a sense of community. Eating is one of the most basic human needs that we all share, so it is a great equalizer and a way to connect on the most basic human level. My (almost) daily family meals are not always ideal, but it can be the only time I connect with my children during the day.


You can also share meals with work teams. Eating together is a low stress environment that will help increase your social bonds and improve your work relationships. By improving those relationships, you will increase engagement and cooperation.


How can you do it?

  • Often the most difficult part is simply finding the time. Try proposing 2-3 options for the other person.

  • If the idea is overwhelming, don't try to complicate it and think of making something complicated. You can have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but it still gives you the chance to sit and connect.

  • If you don't have children, a partner or share an office with colleagues, you can also find others to eat with. I heard a person say he decided to meet new people by inviting someone to his house for a meal every week! (wish I could remember where I came across this...).

  • As the discussion is more important than the food itself, you can try using some conversation cards to help spark your discussions. There are tons of options available now. My family has enjoyed TableTalk and LittleTalk. You want to be careful which set you buy for which group as questions can be inappropriate for the wrong audience.


Who will you eat with today?

  1. Walker, Kylie. “Sharing a Meal Really Can Make Us Happier People.” Food, 10 Dec. 2019, www.sbs.com.au/food/article/2019/12/11/sharing-meal-really-can-make-us-happier-people. Accessed 25 Aug. 2022.

  2. ‌“Family Meals: The Importance of Quality Time.” Brighthorizons.com, 2021, www.brighthorizons.com/resources/Article/family-meals-importance-of-quality-time#:~:text=Eating%20meals%20together%20allows%20time,of%20Journal%20of%20Adolescent%20Health.. Accessed 25 Aug. 2022.

  3. Delistraty, Cody C. “The Atlantic.” The Atlantic, theatlantic, 18 July 2014, www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/07/the-importance-of-eating-together/374256/. Accessed 25 Aug. 2022.


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