Lunchtime Lifeline: How Sharing Meals Can Combat Work Woes & Boost Happiness

At the end of the year again, and friends talked about work, a sigh.

To sum up, we basically can’t escape these three situations:

1. Colleagues fewer, workload increased, his work like workhorse was sucking the energy, fear at the thought of going to work the next day;

2. Office atmosphere is very high pressure, like volume or a lot of people, colleagues almost not going back and forth;

3. Feel life becomes meaningless, not from the work of identity, every day want to leave and fantasy retirement.

In a word, going to work really makes people collapse, feeling is a waste of life, experience bad.

But if you stick your head out and look at the big picture, everyone realizes that “you still have to go to work.”

So the question becomes,”Is it possible to get into this class more comfortably?”

With this problem, I really found a simple and effective method, although cannot completely solve the trouble of work (after all, the trouble is mainly from the work itself).But since using it more, the pressure brought by going to work has been reduced a lot, and there is still a chance to make friends and get some emotional support. Let’s read it together.

Work is not happy, probably because:

You still haven’t found someone to eat with.

Think back to your school days, have you ever found that every meal, we always go to the canteen in groups of three or five, and have lunch or dinner with the classmate who has a good relationship?

While eating hot food, while talking about each other’s favorite ta, or chatter about what interesting novels, movies recently read, the trouble of learning is completely forgotten at this time.

This is a meal of magic.

At this point, you might ask,”What if I don’t have a colleague who’s close enough to eat with?”

A key myth is that we often think that only when we are close enough is it appropriate to ask for a meal.

But the researchers found that the causal relationship between eating and becoming close went from eating together to becoming close, not the other way around.

In other words, it doesn’t matter if you can’t find a good colleague. You can become familiar with it after a few meals.So you can spread the net in the early stage, eat with different colleagues, until you find the most suitable ta.(Ps. Also applies to make friends or talk about object ~)

So, how does eating together improve our work experience?

A national survey by the American Heart Association found that nearly 70 percent (69 percent) of respondents said they would feel less stress at work if they had more time to rest and eat lunch with colleagues.

That’s because the simultaneous act of eating with a colleague may have the same endorphin boosting effect as coordinated physical exercise (badminton or basketball, for example), triggering the release of opioids that can lead to euphoria and relaxation.

At the same time, the sensory experiences brought about by food, such as aroma, taste and texture, can also evoke strong memories and emotions, further enhancing social connections during meals, and creating the feeling that “I am not alone in the hardship of work.”

For example, in the TV series “Restart Life,” the heroine Kondo Mami reopened for the third time. When she was working as a TV producer, she reunited with Maruyama, a junior high school classmate who worked as a makeup artist (she didn’t even tell the heroine about her marriage).

After eating together again and again, the relationship between the two has progressed and become closer and closer. Maruyama not only told her about her marriage and talked about her classmates in the past, but they also happily complained about the incomprehensible and cumbersome workflow of the set (not too happy).

In essence, it’s an experience of finding an alliance. In a stressful work environment, it’s important to have a “lunch partner” who has a similar position with you, helps each other, occasionally talks about the company, and talks about life from time to time. It’s very effective in improving the work experience (stress reduction & happiness).

Not limited to colleagues, and important others

And these are the benefits of eating together.

The benefits of eating together are not limited to improving the work experience.In daily life, finding a fixed time to eat with important others has many positive healing effects, such as:

When you’re under a lot of pressure, eating together can bring you a full score of emotional reassurance.

First of all, the food comes with a soothing filter.Think about it, when you’re not happy, do you always subconsciously order your favorite take-out, or just go to the old shop to eat that won’t get greasy?

Food that looks, smells, and tastes will fully mobilize our sensory memories, evoke beautiful, warm memories, and let us use food as a medium to touch the warmth of the past and temporarily put aside those unhappiness.

Then, superimpose a layer of important others Buff on this filter.Eating with loved ones during difficult times can provide a much-needed support system that allows us to express our emotions honestly, to be comforted by companionship, to create high-quality experiences and memories, and to further bring relationships closer and closer (Victoria-Montesinos et al., 2023)。

The exchange of life stories and experiences reminds each other to slow down and savor life.

In daily life, entering social work or becoming a parent, these grown-up experiences make people sigh that they are pushed forward by time and life. Although they occasionally sigh and miss the idleness of their student days, it is difficult to start a rambling city walk anytime and anywhere.

But if you regularly meet friends for dinner, even if you don’t want to walk, you’ll be forced to leave your fast-paced life briefly and circle the mall and the street just to talk to each other for a while longer if you don’t feel like talking enough.

For example, the

[Did the colleague you complained about last time change departments?]

“Your ex-boyfriend forgot to delete me. I saw his new date…”

[I said I’d take a year off. When are you going to go on a trip with me?]

Because you have to consider each other’s eating habits, you will eat healthier from the choice.

Studies have found that men who eat separate meals twice a day are at greater risk for metabolic syndrome, regardless of weight or diet (Kwon et al., 2018)。

This may be because eating alone tends to be more casual, not taking meals seriously, either fast food or eating only one big meal a day, and nutrition intake becomes very limited.

When eating with other people, people adjust their food intake based on perceived eating norms and patterns.Simply put, eating together forces you to eat more consciously in a variety of foods.(Xiao Xin’s mother’s voice: Eat the green pepper quickly!)

The most primitive sense of security and belonging, let a person feel the stability of the heart.

Food for humans, not only can have the effect of subsistence, it is also a tool of connection.

Especially when holidays come, when you and I reunite with family, or make an appointment with close friends to prepare for the day’s dinner, from cooking to sitting around the table, chatting, teasing, nostalgia, this process makes us re-familiar with each other’s lives.

This constant gathering, the most constant possible composition of people, tells us that these people who are connected to you and me will always be there in a turbulent and uncertain moment.

In general, although we learn to be alone as adults, eating alone is not a big deal (and sometimes a pleasure).

But in this increasingly hurried and human indifference era, through a meal and find the opportunity to sit down, sincere communication, no purpose of chatting, is also an important part of our connection with others, let us have the power to compete with nothingness and loneliness.

Finally, choose to eat and

When talking about topics, pay attention to these 6 points

The choice of eating object

1. Find someone to eat with that relaxes you.

If you want to play a meal to bring the curative effect of stress relief, mood, without looking for the right person.Studies have found that adolescents who eat with their peers have significantly higher declines in depression and anxiety than those who eat with their families.

Imagine if you eat lunch every day with a colleague who loves to wrangle, or with an aunt who doesn’t care who you talk to, then it’s fine if you don’t eat it (or eat it, just change the date).

2. Find a partner with a similar appetite.

It was also necessary to eat happily and not always indulge the other party in eating the food they liked.

3. There is no suitable object for the time being, playing video with family/partner/friend to eat together is also effective!

Eating is the atmosphere of “being together.” While eating and chatting, the sense of companionship can also break through the limit of physical distance and touch each other’s heart.

Selection of chat topics

1. Safe Topics is the first choice.

Considering that you are not familiar enough, worry about talking about taboo topics, or expose yourself too much, it is best to restrain yourself slightly in the choice of topics. Here are a few topics for your reference (Cuncic, 2023):

Holidays: Going home for the New Year?What about Valentine’s Day?Where to eat this weekend?

Food: Which store has better snail powder?The new milk tea in that store is super delicious!

Travel: Where do you plan to go next time and what are your special plans?The last time I went to XX to play, to show you my beautiful photos!

Entertainment gossip: chasing stars?Entertainment or entertainment?Did you eat that melon recently?have you seen that new movie?

2. Take the initiative to ask the other party mentioned last time, let the other party know that you are concerned about ta.

If you want to upgrade from rice partner to become friends, the key is here!Sincere friendship begins with remembering each other’s preferences and meeting each other’s conversation.

Try asking,”Last week, I talked about your cat being neutered. How’s it going?”

3. Talk about something funny or something you shared.

Laughter and memories have also been found to be important in bringing relationships closer.If you and the colleague happen to be in the same period, talk about what happened on the day you entered the company; if you are in different departments, you can chat about “what kind of fool” your department is preparing for the annual meeting.

In short, everyone loves to listen to gossip and memories that come with their own jokes. It’s good for each other’s physical and mental health during their working hours.

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