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 increased mood by 11%, 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 and 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!
The study didn’t address this, but I wonder if you ate chocolate while sipping on wine while looking at photos will triple boost your mood?! Anyone want to come over and have a family photo album viewing party to test my thesis? Let me know.