What do you do when you need a mood boost?
– Drink a glass a wine?
– Eat chocolate?
– Watch your favorite TV show?
– Listen to your favorite music?
– Look at old family photo albums?
Most people would do one or more these items before ever considering pulling out an old photo album. But what if I told you research says the most effective mood booster is looking at old photographs?
Looking at photographs consistently created a mood boost by 11%. This is compared to activities such as eating and drinking which increased mood by a mere 1%.
Taking a walk down memory lane does more than just make you feel nostalgic. It’s a direct reminder of when you were feeling a pleasurable emotion – be it joyfulness, relaxation, excitement or tranquility.
A study conducted at The Open University in Britain by psychologist Peter Naish, analyzed the effects of photographs on happiness. Nash found that looking through photo albums makes you significantly happier than watching TV, listening to music, drinking your favorite wine AND (shock, horror) eating chocolate. In fact, numerous mood boosters such as calmness, alertness and a sense of relaxation were all improved when looking through personal photographs.
Naish said, “I was aware of the potential positive effects of looking at personal photographs, but I was surprised by its ability to produce shifts in specific factors, such as being more relaxed, calm or bright.”
Maybe it’s time to print out some our your favorite photos that are left hidden on your hard drive. You can display them where you can view them regularly. Seeing these photos will give you an instant mood boost for you and your family without even realizing it!
Linda Sobolewski is an on-location, natural-light, portrait photographer specializing in seniors, baby, family & children photography.
Linda Sobolewski Photography is based out of Old Saybrook, CT and serves the Connecticut shoreline and surrounding areas.