The Daily Stillness is good for your wellbeing. We have known that for a long time, now there is evidence from a wonderful little study. The study is titled “The daily digital practice as a form of self-care: Using photography for everyday well-being”. Participants were studied over a period of 2 months to understand digital habits in posting photographs. The study suggests that “taking a photograph links with other offline activities, such as walking and observing, that encourage a mindful engagement with the world. As this article will show, those who participate in photo-a-day identify a connection with improved well-being linked to this mindfulness. Self-care, community interaction and the potential for reminiscence were components of the practice that improved well-being”
A key element about its effect appears to be temporality. The Study states: “Back (2015) argues for the examination of everyday life and practices with a recognition of the temporality within life. His work on the seasonal rhythm of daily life resonates with this exploration of photo-a-day, as one of the key aspects is its temporality. The daily nature of the practice motivates continuation, but also provides an opportunity to look back over previous days.” The ‘looking back’ to our practice has the potential for supporting new habits that encourage the quality of life we want in our lives.
They conclude that “the well-being benefits associated with photo-a-day may be paralleled in other daily digital practices” – we feel that the potential for exploring skilful digital habits via what the study labels ‘reminiscing’ over time, may be a key element of our daily practice here as well as a reconnection with the seasonal rhythm of daily life. The study is well worth a read, it is open access, and (unusual for academic papers) written in an accessible manner.
HT to Brittany Hillen for making us aware of this study, which she explores in relation to its relevance to photography more directly.