According to a study out of the University of California at Irvine, taking certain types of photos made people happier.
The study was conducted on a group of 41 college students over four weeks. The students were told to take one picture on their smartphone every day—“a selfie photo with a smiling expression,” “a photo of something that would make oneself happy,” or “a photo of something that would make another person happy.”
Basically, the study concluded, any photo taken with the goal of producing happiness will have a positive effect on the photographer. Same goes for any photo that aims to bring together the photographer and audience.
People who took photos for themselves became more mindful, reflective, and aware of their surroundings. Those who took photos for others reported better communication with their friends and family and reduced stress due to their stronger ties.
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And those who took selfies reported feeling more confident, comfortable, and creative. However, they also became more stressed and bored with repetitive smiling.
So do people take selfies because they’re happy, or are they happy because they take selfies? Either way, go ahead and snap all the photos on your next vacation. Every single person in your social media feed is definitely going to love it.
And even if they don’t, you will.
This story was originally published on TravelandLeisure.com.