We tend to associate selfies with vanity or the need to compensate for low self-esteem. But according to science, this is not always accurate. Researchers have found that selfies can be an effective tool for the healthcare industry. And that kind of self-love can help you protect your physical and mental well-being.

A study revealed that selfies can be used to detect diseases.

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Researchers have found that self-portraits can help medical experts identify possible heart disease. According to the study, certain facial features are associated with an increased risk of heart problems.

And running profile pictures through artificial intelligence resulted in algorithms that correctly identified the existence of the cardiovascular disease.

The study is still in its early stages, but the researchers believe that the use of selfies and AI-based methodologies could be a simple and efficient screening tool.

It’s not necessarily narcissism, but an act of self-care.

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Another study found that selfies helped people take a “break” and become more mindful of their day. One participant said: “My job was very stressful… There were some days when I was barely breathing.”

Taking photos was like a breath of fresh air that allowed them to experience something different.

For others, it gave them a sense of purpose and achievement. “It encourages me to get out of the house sometimes when I could just sit down with a cup of tea.”

And after a day of looking down or slouching, looking up for a selfie can be good for your posture. It also forces you to “stop and smell the flowers,” like looking around for a background or object to take a picture with.

Selfies can help improve a person’s mood.

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Another group of researchers studied participants who took smiling selfies every day for several weeks. And the subjects reported that even their fake smiles for the photo improved their mood. “It made me feel good, thinking, ‘This is probably how I’ll look for the rest of the day.’”

Sending these selfies to your friends or loved ones also created a wave of happiness. For example, one participant sent her boyfriend some photos of what she was doing during the day, and his interest and positive responses made them share a feeling of excitement.

And knowing that the recipients (or followers) liked the snapshot also made the day of the sender of the photo.

Capturing your own image can make you more confident.

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Today’s campaigns are all about self-love, and taking regular photos can make you feel good and more confident about your image and body. A study found that those who take selfies feel more attractive and appreciated than those who don’t.

A blink of an eye a day can also drive sadness away. “As the days went by, I became more comfortable taking photos of myself. If you feel good about yourself, [a] selfie would be a way to capture that,” one person shared.

Another participant said that the daily photo session helped him smile better and also noticed less stress on his face.

These snaps can help with self-reflection.

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Daily selfies can be a way to record your personal development. For example, one participant went through a personal crisis, and looking back at his photos from that moment helped him reflect on how he had changed.

He witnessed how he slowly survived the “dark days” and even the elements of the photos, such as light and colors, reminded him of the bright moments.

How often do you take selfies? Do you like to share them on social networks or do you just keep them for yourself and your loved ones?

Preview photo credit selenagomez / Instagramselenagomez / Instagram