Texting boosts your happiness

Receiving a text message can improve your mood and make you feel cared for

Texting on mobile phones often gets bad press – but new research has shown that sending and receiving text messages can actually improve your mood if you’re depressed.

Although it’s blamed for everything from illiteracy to car crashes, researchers at the University of California have now found clear mental health benefits of texting among depressed patients.

HOwever, clinical psychologist and author of the study, Professor Adrian Aguilera, believes everyone experiences an uplift in their mood when they receive or respond to a text message from a friend or family member.

Previous research has found that receiving texts or BlackBerry messages produces a temporary ‘high’ or endorphin rush, which can make constant mobile phone checking addictive.

Professor Aguilera’s research focused on patients with mental health problems. ‘The people I wanted to impact directly didn’t have as much access to computers and the internet,’ he says. ‘So I thought about using mobile phones to send text messages to remind them to practice the skills covered in therapy sessions.’ Three-quarters reported an improvement in mood.

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