Forget “Happy Hour.” Eating finger food and drinking more alcohol with random people in the late afternoon may enhance your wasteline but it doesn’t enhance your timeline on this earth. Instead, grab your lover, family member or a friend you care about and spend a “happy our” socializing. Relax. Talk. Laugh. Hug.
Studies show that friends and loved ones actually synchronize their heart rates. And a study in Psychosomatic Medicine showed that people who spend time with their romantic partner have a much lower blood pressure than those who just hang out with a stranger. A warm embrace from someone you love like a spouse parent, or child can trigger the release of the feel-good hormone oxytocin, which can lower stress. And those good times that generate laughter can release endorphins, the body’s opium, as well as decrease stress. That’s why being social is one of the major consistent findings in populations where people live the longest.
So forget about “Happy Hour.” Spend a happy hour each day with someone you care about and who cares about you. That’s Happy Our: our time together.