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Healthy Living

Your Election Day Selfie Is Probably Making You Happier (Seriously)

Permission to Instagram the hell out of your sticker.

In 2016, snapping a selfie after voting for president is about as American as actually, well, voting.

It’s likely there will be a flood of election self-portraits in your social media feeds today. And it turns out those posters may be onto something: Selfies could be beneficial to your psychological well-being. And during a stressful time, every bit of happiness helps.

Below are just a few ways those “I Voted” snapshots can boost your mood:

Selfies in general make you happier.

Posting that election-day image on Instagram just feels good, at least according to science. Recent research published in the journal Psychology of Well-Being found that taking selfies and sharing the images with friends had a positive effect on psychological and emotional states.

You’re being proactive.

The levity of selfies aside, there’s a lot at stake today. By heading to the polls and voting, you’re being an active member of the country and partially relieving some of the election anxiety (research shows it’s a real thing!) that has been building up for the last year and a half.

In a democracy, a citizen’s voice does matter. By voting, you will hopefully feel you are taking a proactive step and participating in what for many has been a stressful election cycle,” the American Psychological Association advised last month.

By documenting your vote via a selfie, you’re immortalizing your participation and shouting to the world that you had a say in the democratic process.

Selfies could encourage your friends to vote.

That snapshot could mobilize your apathetic friends to head out and bubble in a ballot. As Drake Baer at Science of Us points out, research shows we’re compelled to vote when others do too:

Humans are social creatures. They’re also, according to the people that study democracies, social voters. So if you want your friends to vote — good idea, given the high stakes of this election — shout from every mountaintop and Facebook update that you’re voting.

The image is symbolic.

Nothing like the feeling of witnessing your child vote for the first time. Nothing. MAKE IT COUNT! 🇺🇸

A photo posted by Kelly Ripa (@kellyripa) on

That post-ballot picture represents a great deal. For some, it’s to celebrate voting in a presidential race for the first time. For others, it’s tangible proof that they made a decision based on their values. It also means that this long, negative election is finally coming to a close.

Happy voting ― and selfie posting!

It's Doggone Election Time Again!