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.