According to research, this is how selfies can help you combat stress

It may not be the most popular holiday (yet), but today is a holiday that’s worth celebrating: National Selfie Day. Selfies have become a part of our everyday life, so much so that the Oxford English Dictionary named “selfie” the Word of the Year 2013. While we may think of selfies as something shallow that we do in our free time, recent studies have actually shown that they hold real power in our overall health and wellbeing.

Recent survey conducted by Dignity Health found that an overwhelming amount of people saw boosts in confidence and happiness after they took selfies.

84 percent of people said they felt much less stressed after taking a selfie in which they smiled.

In fact, over two-thirds of the participants said they felt an instant mood lift after snapping a happy selfie. Just smiling in general is known to boost your spirits and make you feel more connected to the people around you. And selfies are a great way to increase how many smiles you put out there every day.

HelloGiggles spoke with Stephanie Parmely, Ph.D., from Mercy Medical Group, a service of Dignity Health Medical Foundation, who says selfies can have a powerful impact on us.

"A smile from a loved one, or even a stranger can lift your spirits, but so can a smile from yourself!" Dr. Parmely says.

Dr. Parmely cites a study by University of California Irvine, which found that students who took smiling selfies over the course of four weeks reported happier moods, more confidence, and a positive energy that lasted through the day.

“If you’re feeling a bit down, try taking a smiling selfies to pick yourself up,” Dr. Parmely advises. “The smile will release endorphins in your brain to make you feel happier.” You don’t have to tell us twice.

All the feel-good chemicals that come from smiling and taking selfies make you more appealing to other people, Dr. Parmely says. But they’re also a great way to feel less stressed about the situations around you.

So take advantage of National Selfie Day today and snap as many selfies as you like. Just make sure you smile as well. Your health depends on it.