Are Cell Phones Robbing Us of Joy?

I was at Rite Aid the other day picking up a prescription and I had to sign something so I was busy reading while the cashier asked me “How’s your day?” Since I wasn’t paying attention, I asked him to repeat himself. When he did, I said “you threw me off with your kindness” with a smirk. I heard laughter in the backyard.

How often do we just cruise through life not even making eye contact with people or exchanging a few words? For example, what do you do when you enter an elevator? Do you look at your shoes, pull out your cell, make brief eye contact, or strike up brief chitchat? If you tend to pull out your phone, studies show that we are short changing ourselves from happiness. It turns out that even brief moments, as simple as eye contact, adds to greater well being and happiness since we are social creatures after all.

Even just a brief eye contact increases one’s feeling of inclusion and belonging. Start with people you have to interact with anyways like the cashier or the barista. Research shows that high frequency of positive events, even as small as eye contact (with or without a smile), helps us feel included, decreases loneliness, and increases happiness. It is fear that the other person won’t enjoy talking with us that holds most people back (even if they think they prefer solitude like just reading their book). Once we start conversation, people feel less awkward and it’s more enjoyable than most people expect.

Next time you’re next to a stranger, acknowledge their presence and even say “hello.” Put your phone away. This might put a smile on your face and theirs. More small moments of joy adds up. And in my office, more joy leads to less emotional eating and therefore, more weight loss. Social creatures need to feel less lonely. So put that phone away and interact. You’ll feel the difference.

If you need help understanding nutrition and all the mixed messages out there, give us a call. We will address your stress level, eating habits, exercise, cravings, emotional eating, and overall health and happiness. Start with a free health consultation at or (619) 876-2655. See if this is the right match for you. I do things very differently to make health a natural lifestyle and this is not for everyone. Check out Yelp for other people’s opinion of Happy Food. 

~ Samantha Hua, Nutrition & Holistic Health Coach, San Diego, CA