With hectic schedules and digital distractions never far away, taking time to meet up face-to-face – to share stories, food or the occasional glass of wine – can provide a balm for modern life

sharing meals makes you happier
Nothing replaces the feelgood factor of connecting offline.  |  Photograph: Stocksy

We are social creatures. In our earliest months, we respond to facial gestures and tone of voice, smiling our gummy smiles at those who grin at us. As we get older we forge friendships and learn to socialise. A gathering or coming together of family members or pals will, for many, hold happy memories of laughter shared and stories swapped over meals.

It can be easy to forget the power of a face-to-face conversation or the comfort of a hug when we increasingly live our lives online. But emojis, gifs and texts can’t replace the feelgood factor of connecting offline and what that can do for our happiness and wellbeing.

Packed schedules and the frantic pace of modern life can take their toll. Increasingly, it has become harder to draw the line, with emails pinging in at all times of the day. Mealtimes have suffered – with hastily grabbed lunches wolfed down in front of screens and Netflix dinners taken side by side.

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