Each and every day we come in contact with hundreds if not thousands of photographs. We see them on billboards, magazines, newspapers, in our mailbox, and in the family photos that adorn our walls. We barely give a second thought to most. And the more familiar ones we tend to take for granted.
Imagine how that might change if you knew for a fact that taking those photos could actually help you live a longer, healthier life.
My research has shown that taking photos actually can produce enormous physical and mental benefits. Photography's therapeutic benefits are a scientific reality and here's why:
1. Activity: There is always some new photo we need to take and somewhere we need to go to take it. It's really hard to just sit on the couch and take a prize-winning photo. We keep moving.
2. Positive Mental Attitude: we just can't wait to capture an image of the next amazing thing. We know for a fact that the world is full of wonder and it is our mission, our passion to show it off in our photographs.
3. Sharing: while some minute percentage may take photos strictly for their own personal pleasure, most of us take photos so we can share them with others. We are eager to share our sense of wonder with others. And the compliments they bring sure make us feel good.
4. Connection: through photography we gain a strong sense of connection to this world as a whole and especially to our local community.
5. Fun: we have fun! Each photo outing is a new adventure, a treasure hunt for visual splendor. One never knows what visual prize lies in wait around the next corner. We spend our leisure hours in an activity that we find enjoyable and has no end.
6. Mind Stimulating: each new photo opportunity presents a different challenge. We must always be evaluating the ambient light and surroundings and adjusting our camera settings accordingly. Our minds stay fresh and open because we are in a constant state of learning.
7. New Friends: through taking our photos and sharing them we are constantly surrounded by opportunities for human interaction. Mankind was never built for solitude.
8. Sense of Purpose: we always have a mission, a reason for being. It's even fun to travel alone when your mission is to come back with great photos to share of the places you explored. In Earl Nightingale's famous talk, "The Strangest Secret" he observed, "The people who live the longest are the people with something to do." You're never too old to take a great photo.
9. Exercise: walking has been heralded as one of the most universally beneficial exercises and we photographers sure do walk a lot. Add in some squats to get that unique angle, some uphill climbs, a little forest terrain and you've got some powerful ingredients for healthy living.
10. Freedom from Worry: we concentrate on the excitement of tomorrow, rather than the problems of yesterday. After all, with digital photography, we can always fix yesterday's shot today with a little Photoshop! We keep our eyes focused on the future, the next shot. Hope for the future is the ultimate Fountain of Youth.
Photography is a healthy, fun activity for people of all ages. So grab your digital camera, brush up on a few tips for better photos and get on out there. A whole new world of wonder is waiting for you. And with all those health benefits, you'll get even more time to capture all the wonders of this beautiful place called Earth.