Thursday, May 3, 2007

Photographs win

Researchers at the United Kingdom's Open University examined how much people's mood rose after eating a chocolate snack, sipping an alcoholic drink, watching TV, listening to music, or looking at personal photos (the researchers chose these behaviors for their reputation as popular ways to unwind). The music and chocolate left most people's moods unchanged; alcohol and TV gave a slight lift (1%), but the winner by a long shot was viewing pictures, which made people feel 11% better.

I don't look at pictures. In fact, I've never owned my own camera. Personal pictures don't make me feel better - they make me sad. They remind me of lives I've left behind - decisions that weren't mine to make. Instead I'm totally into magazines - imaginary perfection - far more restful than a complicated reality.

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