live like an insta-addict
(and increase your happiness)
Sometimes scrolling through all of the beautiful #inspo on social media can feel a little suffocating - it can make you feel inadequate (these people's lives look so happy and perfect!) or cynical (surely this is all fake!). But there is a way you can live life like an insta-addict AND increase your happiness. Here are a few things that look good in photos and can lift your spirits!
Make your bed
Your bed is (probably) the biggest thing in your room, and when it's made, it can transform a messy awful room into a lovely tidy room. Pretty big results for a low-effort activity!
Making your bed only takes a few minutes, but it can have a big impact - tiny good habits can snowball into bigger good habits, (and it's very nice to start your day with a feeling of success, however tiny!)
When you're super tired at the end of a long day, there's nothing nicer than seeing a welcoming nicely made bed - the promise of peaceful rest and recuperation.
Looks great in photos? Tick. Adds to your happiness? Also tick!
Prepare your food like it's #foodporn for #MKR
Thoughtfully presenting your food makes it look more appealing, and there's some evidence that it makes it taste better too.
Spending a few extra minutes preparing your food means you're also more likely to eat mindfully - chewing carefully, thinking about the texture and the flavour - and not just hurriedly gulping while scrolling through facebook. Eating mindfully is good for digestion and portion control, too.
Eating should engage more than just your taste buds - and your enjoyment of your meal can be determined by how it looks, smells, tastes, the atmosphere of where you are, and who you’re with.
Pretty dinner - looks great on instagram, feels great in your belly!
go outside at golden hour
There's something magical about being outside in the sunlight in the hour before sunset. Although Sting's theory that sunset is like taking lithium hasn't been confirmed by science, it makes a certain intuitive sense.
According to 2012 research, participants reported feelings of awe, like they had more time, and also felt less impatient after watching the sunset. “Experiences of awe bring people into the present moment,” researchers wrote in the paper, “which underlies awe’s capacity to adjust time perception, influence decisions, and make life feel more satisfying than it would otherwise.”
Studies in countries in Europe have linked sunlight to happiness - sunlight reacts with melatonin in your brain. Seasonal Affective Disorder (think Trump would like this? So SAD!) is a type of depression suffered by people who don't get enough sunlight in the winter months. The sunlight also helps regulate your body clock.
Golden hour - the most beautiful time for photos, and good for the soul!
Stand up straight and smile
No doubt you've heard the claim that your brain can't tell the difference between a real and a fake smile - those both produce feelings of wellbeing (and release dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin, everyone's favourite feel-good neurotransmitters). Give it a try and you'll see (even if it is just feeling silly that cheers you up).
According to social scientist Amy Cudding, a researcher at Harvard Business School, standing with your shoulders back, knees beneath your hips, and your head up high, changes the cortisone and testosterone levels in our brains, giving us more confidence, improving our cognitive functioning, and increasing our chances of success.
Holding your body like you're posing for a photo - flattering, and surprisingly powerful!
At Folk + Follow, we know photography, and we know happiness. For us, shooting beautiful weddings is the perfect combination of the two. We delight in making the intangible tangible - atmosphere, friendship, beauty, and love.
We'd love to hear from you, please get in touch!