VSL:SCIENCE // Feeling blue? Think faster.

Read this sentence out loud, as quickly as you can. Now read it again. Faster! And again!

Do you feel happier? According to psychologists at Princeton and Harvard, you should.

The researchers were inspired by the observation that feelings of euphoria are often accompanied by “racing thoughts.” But do those thoughts cause positive mood swings, or are they a side effect? To find out, the researchers had subjects engage in various forms of thought acceleration, from speed reading to narrating a fast-forwarded episode of I Love Lucy. As it happened, people who thought more quickly really did feel happier and more confident — even when they were thinking about depressing subjects. And that’s something to keep in mind in case the coming holidays — or current events — get you down.

This post is from Observer Short List—an email of three favorite things from people you want to know. Sign up to receive OSL here.

VSL:SCIENCE // Feeling blue? Think faster.