We know that daily meditation and gentle yet stimulating exercise is supposed to fill you with contentment and an unshakable sense of presence, but think about it for a minute: does anything actually beat the fuzzy influx of endorphins that comes from sitting in your favourite corner of the pub, pint in hand, slurrily dissecting the week's events with your BFFs?
You're not the only one whose happiness derives from cheap beer and tipsy conversation (soz mindfulness). A new study from Oxford University has found that living close to a pub can make you "significantly" happier.
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Carried out, kinda predictably, for beer advocacy group Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), the study covered a cross section of pubs in Oxfordshire. Researchers found that those who were regulars at their local boozer had more friends, better life satisfaction, and were more likely to drink in moderation.
You hear that? It's basically science telling you to go for a midweek pint.
According to Professor Robin Dunbar of Oxford University, the "friendship and community" fostered through regular visits to the nearby pub—rather than Whatsapp notifications—can influence health and wellbeing.
He explained: "Making and maintaining friendships […] is something that has to be done face-to-face. The digital world is simply no substitute. Given the increasing tendency for our social life to be online rather than face to face, having relaxed accessible venues where people can meet old friends and make new ones becomes ever more necessary."
In an additional "well duh" moment, the study also stated that people's social skills improved after having a drink. Researchers noted that in small community pubs, this allows patrons to bond with drinking companions and meet new people—something that can't always happen in cavernous chain pubs or dimly lit bars pumping DJ Kygo remixes.
While the image of ruddy cheeked neighbours ordering rounds from a landlady who knows everyone by name is great, it's far from reality in many British towns. With pub owners fighting increased licensing fees and more of us choosing to drink at home, pubs are closing at an average rate of 29 a week.
CAMRA chief executive Tim Page added: "The role of community pubs in ensuring that wellbeing cannot be overstated. For that reason, we all need to do what we can to ensure that everyone has a 'local' near to where they live or work."
Next time that annoyingly productive co-worker gives you side-eye for sacking off work emails and spin class to go for a pint, stand your ground. You're just doing your bit for the local community.