A Snapshot of Happiness

Facebook always has a new trend or online challenge to take part in –#100daysofhappiness is the latest craze. 100 days though? That’s a big commitment. If you’re not ready to dive into so much joy, I have another idea.

#6picsofhappy

Okay, I made that hashtag up, but hopefully, you get the idea. Choose six (or more) photos that bring you joy.

Surround yourself with those photos. Share them on Facebook or Instagram. Or pin them on a Pinterest board.

Create a collage of the photos, and use it as your phone’s background.

Remember back to Polaroids? It used to be so easy to develop a photo, instantaneously. But if you have some time, try to put your photos on a flashdrive or send them to Walgreens or CVS via Kicksend (or another photo app). Receive 4x4s, 5x7s, or 8x10s, and plaster your happy images all over everything. In my case, I printed out my 4×4 Instagram favorites and taped them all over my desktop. I have 11 happy images plastered all over my computer, but do whatever makes you … happy 🙂

Here are some photo ideas:

*Friends and family – a photo of a fun gathering or a celebration

*Natural landscapes – forest, beach, mountains, or your favorite flower

*Animals – your cat or dog… or a random little monkey with cute, beady eyes (see below)

*Places – somewhere you’ve always wanted to go or somewhere you’ve already been

*Hobbies – paint supplies, running shoes, a stack of your favorite books, etc.

baby monkeycommon ginger monkey Liam_3_courtesy of Lozseex
Photo (top left) courtesy of Shawn Allen’s flickr, (top right) Rob’s flickr, and Lozseex.

I could look at baby monkeys all day. They make me so happy. Aside from happiness, baby animals give us another resilient trait. A Japanese study called “The Power of Kawaii” (aka The Power of Cuteness) recently documented the benefits of looking at “cute” photos. A team of scientists at Hiroshima University conducted three experiments and concluded that people developed higher levels of concentration after looking at pictures of puppies or kittens. In my expert (*ahem*) analysis, I’d have to say that baby monkeys should also make the cuteness list. For more details about the study, check out the article, “Study Shows Power of Cute Improves Concentration”  from The Wall Street Journal.

It may be a bit silly, but you can find more cute, happy photos on Viral Nova’s website. These 28 photos will cheer you up in no time and bring a smile to your face.

If you want more concrete facts, here’s another study to look forward to in the future. Twitter recently awarded a #DataGrant to a team of researchers to study Twitter’s datasets and tackle the question: Can happiness be measured using images shared on Twitter? The goal is to find out the happiest metropolitan areas based on happy images. Interesting!

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, it probably won’t be New York City, which was recently ranked the least happy city in America in the “Unhappiest Cities” study. Five different cities in Louisiana ranked top on the happiness chart.

ny  happiness

Photo (left) courtesy of Ralph Hockens’ flickr    //   Photo (right) courtesy of IJReview

love & peace,

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