13. May 2017 · Comments Off on The Key to a Longer and Happier Life? Face-to-Face Interaction · Categories: Board of Directors · Tags:
A new report published in the Washington Post indicates that a person’s close relationships and social integration are strong contributors to longevity and happiness. When we have intimacy, support systems and frequent face-to-face interactions, we tend to be physically and emotionally healthier and happier, and actually live longer. In fact, face-to-face contact releases a whole cascade of neurotransmitters, protecting us now and in the future.
This could be one of the reasons why women live an average of six years longer than men – they tend to prioritize time spent with friends more than men do.
Spend a lot of time on your smart phone, texting, talking or skyping? In 2007, technology took up only a small sliver of our personal time, while now for most of us it takes up nearly all of it. Most things we do for pleasure, like reading a book or watching a movie, have an end. But scrolling on the phone is endless, and we don’t know when to break away. Adam Alter, professor of marketing and psychology at New York University, found that those who spend time on social networks, dating apps and even online news sites report being less happy.
Chasing meaning, not happiness, is what really matters. In her new book, “The Power of Meaning”, author Emily Smith believes that what makes us sad is not lack of happiness, but lack of meaning in our lives.
What Can We Do?
Set limits for our online time, making time for real personal interaction. Say hi to our neighbors, join a club, take a class.
Find the things you really care about that drive you forward. Focus on the people who truly love and care about you. Find things that make you feel like you’re a part of something bigger.
Amazingly, we can all get immediate benefit just by making eye contact, shaking someone’s hand or giving a high-five, which releases dopamine in the brain and relieves stress. It’s a biological imperative to know we belong.
Reading this article made me realize how very lucky we are to have the High Falls Food Co-op, a special place where we can nourish ourselves and our families with the best organic food and natural products, in a warm and welcoming environment, and feel like we belong.

by Steve Goodman, VP Board of Directors