If You're Feeling Stressed Out, This One Simple Trick Can Help

Feeling a little down lately? Look no further than that tree in your backyard.

More specifically, look no further than a picture of a tree.

According to a new study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, simply looking at pictures of nature can provide you with little happiness boosts.

For the study, researchers at VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam gave about 50 students sensors to monitor electrical activity in their hearts. They then divided participants into two different groups.

One group was shown pictures of green spaces and the other was shown photos of urban spaces, like garages and parked cars.

Both groups were then given a math test and told afterward their performances were below average (even if that wasn't true) to elevate their stress levels. They were then shown the initial pictures again.

The heart rates of the participants who were shown the green spaces after the test were lowered, whereas the ones who were shown urban spaces did not experience lower heart rates. This suggests looking at photos of green spaces helps us recover from stress and boosts happiness.

Craving another instant happiness boost? Try going for a walk, giving someone you love a hug or even just smiling.

If you need me, I'll be Googling pictures of nature.

Citations: Greenery (or Even Photos of Trees) Can Make Us Happier (The New York Times)