Where do we find our festive cheer when travelling on business? Far too often, business travel can involve meals eaten alone.
Communal eating increases our feeling of wellbeing and cheer and facilitates a kind of bonding around food. The congregation of people to share food is central to all festive celebrations and can be a great opportunity for a convivial business networking.
The Oxytocin Factor
Oxytocin is released by the pituitary gland. It is heavily involved in reproduction and childbirth but also plays a part in our feelings of appetite and pleasure. When oxytocin is released we feel cheered. Certain stimuli are known to increase oxytocin production, such as being hugged or receiving a compliment from a friend. With food and eating the picture is more complicated but likely to have a crucial impact. Eating treat foods, definitely chocolate, but possibly any ‘naughty but nice’ treats, boosts our levels of oxytocin and gives a temporary feeling of cheer.
If we are eating alone, there is a strong chance that we regularly indulge in a bit of feel-good food. However, eating with companions, particularly those we like, is also a trigger for oxytocin production.
Convivial Dining Is Good For Business
However, by virtue of being away from home, more humble liaisons around food are possible. Breakfast meetings or even coffee away from the office could provide a slight mood boost which could make treat foods feel like an unnecessary indulgence. In addition, a bit of pleasant bonding over food could be an aide to a successful business trip.
The simple awareness that eating alone could make us vulnerable to a less healthy diet is important. Enjoying the conviviality of the festive season could be a boost to our mental and physical health.
With the very best wishes for a season of festive cheer and a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.
© Extravitality 2017