We’ve finally found the secret to a happy commute, and it’s actually really simple.
A social experiment has found that individuals who were tasked with talking to a stranger on their commute had a much more pleasant journey.
Yep, it’s as easy as asking the person next to you how they’re doing.
The research was conducted in Chicago and required those who were travelling by bus or train to do one of three things: talk to a stranger, actively avoid eye contact with others or do what happened naturally. Once the journey was complete, they filled out a questionnaire and sent it back to the researchers.
Their responses were compared to a second group, who were asked to just think about an exchange with a stranger during their commute. Those who simply thought about chatting to someone unknown recorded feelings of awkwardness and discomfort, but those who actually had a natter with a stranger reported a much more pleasant journey.
Of the participants, 60% believed that their fellow commuters wouldn’t wish to talk to them – but the results show that everyone who struck up a conversation found their chat buddy to be happy to do so.
So next time you’re commuting, try saying hello to someone – it could just make you that bit happier.