WTF Fun Fact 13089 – The Benefits of Looking at Old Photos

From physical photo albums to scrolling far back in your social media history, there’s something about looking at old photos that tends to make us happy. In fact, research has shown it can be downright relaxing. For those not skilled at meditation, looking at old photos can be even more relaxing than meditating!

Make yourself happy by looking at old photos

Make fun of photo-takers all you’d like (and we’ll join you for the ridiculous Instagram posers), but there’s some serious value in documenting happy moments.

In an article posted about the research on Digital Camera World (cited below), UK behavioral psychologist Jo Hemmings noted that “Taking the time to look back on our treasured memories can be truly beneficial for our wellbeing as it can help to evoke feelings of positivity and happiness. Because of this, and especially at times like this, we should take more time to appreciate and look back on them.”

Reminiscing for stress relief

If you want to crush your stress and boost your well-being, try a few tips that have made people happy during research studies:

  • Check out old photos of your friends, family, and pets on your phone. It can trigger feelings of happiness and strengthen these relationships.
  • Look at photos when you need a reminder that you’re loved. Reminiscing about happy moments with a photo helps recreate those feelings in our minds and transports us back to a happier place.
  • Make an album of funny photos. Silly old photos can cause your body to release endorphins, a natural stress reliever.
  • Look back at other people’s happy occasions. When we see our friends and family at significant points in their lives (weddings, graduations, etc.), it can help reduce cortisol and take our anxiety down a notch.
  • Hang happy photos in your home. People tend to find the places in their homes that contain photos are the most relaxing. Having copies of real, physical photos around your room, office, or house helps enhance feelings of social bonds.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “It’s official! Looking at old photos is more relaxing than meditating” — Digital Camera World

WTF Fun Fact 12631 – Killer Friendships

It’s not so easy to monitor giant sea creatures like killer whales close enough to know about their social lives. But thanks to drone footage, we’ve recently learned that killer whales are a lot more social than most people give them credit for.

By tracking a pod of 22 killer whales for ten days, marine researchers noticed patterns in behavior that resembled complex relationships among some pod members that they think relate to the species in general.

While killer whales live their entire lives in the same pod, they’re not equally close to all members. Just like a group of humans, they let relationships come and go over time, getting close to some members, but then growing into other relationships over time.

More specifically, researchers noticed that the whales showed a preference for another specific group member. They would surface together and touch each other more often than they would other pod members.

These behaviors signal a desire to cooperate and be social with one other whale – a “best friend,” if you will. Adding to the hypothesis is the observation that these “besties” tended to be of the same sex and age.

According to an interview by ScienceAlert with behavioral ecologist Darren Croft from the University of Exeter:

“In many species, including humans, physical contact tends to be a soothing, stress-relieving activity that reinforces social connection. We also examined occasions when whales surfaced together – as acting in unison is a sign of social ties in many species.”

Apparently, the older the whale, the more anti-social they tend to be. That’s a behavior mirrored in humans as well. – WTF fun facts

Source: “Drone Footage Shows Even Killer Whales Have Close ‘Friends'” — Science Alert