4 Go to the same coffee shop every day



Daily Telegraph



The Good Life dives into a University of Chicago experiment, where a group of people were sent on a train journey. Half were asked to read the newspaper and the other half were asked to talk to a stranger. Beforehand, almost everyone predicted that talking to someone they didn’t know would be a negative experience, but in reality the half that did enjoyed their journey far more. “This is just one example of how little we know about what is good for us,” says Waldinger. In Britain, tapping someone on the shoulder to say “Hi” on public transport could end badly; instead, try going to the same coffee shop regularly and talking to the barista about the weather, say, or the news. The chances are he or she will remember you the next time and within a few weeks, this will become a small but meaningful interaction in your day. “Just as our brain responds to the presence of food in our bellies by rewarding us with pleasure sensations, so does it respond to positive contact with others, however minor,” says Waldinger. “Positive interaction tells our bodies that we are safe, reducing our physical arousal and increasing our sense of wellbeing.”