Saying hello to strangers in the morning can make you feel happier throughout the rest of the day, latest evidence suggests.

A new study has found that individuals who chat to people they don’t know are more likely to feel happier than those who choose to ignore strangers in the street.

Speaking to strangers is associated with happiness because it can increase an individual’s sense of belonging, according to the academics.

“Momentary interactions, greeting and thanking, can increase wellbeing,” said the team of researchers.

During the study, the scientists investigated the happiness levels of 60,000 adults, of which 40,000 were Brits.

Each participant self-reported how happy they felt on average and how often they interacted with strangers.

Senior author Dr Esra Ascigil, from Sabanci University in Turkey, said: “Having a sense of belonging involves feeling like you are accepted and valued by other people – it is often considered a fundamental human need.”

Kate Jopling, an adviser to the Campaign To End Loneliness, added: “These things help to make us feel like we belong. They cost so little but are worth a lot.”

The study was published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

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