This week’s Friendly Friday Challenge: SMILES could be hard if you don’t normally take pictures of people. Maybe, it’s time for a walk.
According to a study published in the journal Emotions, researchers found that a trip through nature — like a forest or park — can boost positive emotions and promote wider smiles.
“In the study, which looked at the mental health of older adults, 60 participants in California were asked to take 15-minute walks every day for eight weeks, with some assigned to awe walks and others who weren’t given instructions about where to walk.
People who responded to survey questions in the awe walk group reported an increased sense of wonder about the world around them.
The researchers found these positive emotions were even reflected in people’s selfies, where participants had “measurably broader smiles.“
Awe “is an interesting emotion, because it promotes what we call a ‘small self,'” said lead author Virginia Sturm, an associate professor … at the University of California San Francisco.
“What that means is that when you feel awe, you feel smaller in relation to the larger world and the universe around us … yet more connected,” she said. All of the problems we perceive to be “really overwhelming, when we take a step back and look at [them] in this bigger perspective, they seem kind of smaller.”““Getting into nature could benefit your mental health during the pandemic“, CBC News · Posted: Oct 02, 2020
Not so long ago, I had an awesome walk through a rainforest bog.
It was a bright Autumn morning and I was visiting Half Moon Bay on British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast. The route to a popular look-out was through a rainforest bog. The bog offered a different view of the normally lush and green forests. Here large swatches of trees were stripped bare, skeletal trunks standing sentinel along the boardwalk. It had been a cold night and a thin layer of frost coated the wooden planks. Leaning over the side, I wondered how deep the water was. Not too deep I think. Shallow enough for the surface to freeze at night and break apart at day light.
After the boardwalk, a quick climb up and down took us to the shore line. It was a pretty enough look-out, one of many along the coast and a popular spot for sailing boats. As a landlubber though, I’ll always remember the awesome walk through the forest bog.
Have you had an awesome walk recently? Maybe it’s time for another … and while you’re there, feel free to take a selfie 🙂
Photos taken on the Sunshine Coast in British Columbia, Canada.
Coincidentally, shortly after I published, Amy issued Lens Artist Challenge #117: A Photo Walk! What do they say about great minds? 🙂