01 August, 2012
Photos Which Act As A Pick-Me-Up
I've been going through loads and loads of old photos of holidays and places we have visited over the last twenty-five years. This brought back floods of memories - good memories.
I noticed that doing this - there was a reason - made me feel quite buoyant and uplifted. It's true that there were a few photos of family and friends who have now passed on which made me sad - but the times associated to the pictures were all positive. They were of happy occasions.
The photo at the top of the post is of the Yosemite National Park, USA. We did a tour in a hire car of the west coast, a while back, taking in San Francisco, Yosemite, Los Angeles, Hollywood, Monterey, Las Vegas, Phoenix, the Grand Canyon, Palm Springs and lots of places in between.
Wonderful memories, but so were pictures of places quite nearby to where we live. When we first got together Karin and I went to West Bay on England's south coast - camping in a tent. We didn't have much money but had lots of laughs.
One night we walked from our tent to the local pub for a few drinks. It wasn't over filled with people but had a nice atmosphere. This youngish woman came over, sat opposite us and struck up a bizarre conversation. She kept staring at me and after a while said she felt she had to sing Amazing Grace to me! Would it be okay?
I don't think it mattered to her what my reply would be as she started to sing anyway. It was one of those surreal moments that will never be forgotten. She sang Amazing Grace in full, with quite a pleasant voice, then said 'thank you' and walked away, never to be seen by us again.
But what I'm eventually getting around to saying is that photos can be a natural pick-me-up or tonic.
A study was carried out by researchers at the University of Southampton. They found that the nostalgia of looking through photos, of happy times, increases self-regard, social bonds and positivity.
Other research at UK's Open University had similar findings. They found that listening to music and such things as eating chocolate left moods unchanged. Alcohol and watching television altered moods slightly, but only by one per cent. But looking at photos from the persons own albums made people feel more than 11 per cent better.
Dr Peter Nash said of the findings, "Looking through photos has a far more beneficial effect than many traditional ways of unwinding."
So there you go. Feeling a bit down or in a bad mood? Then reach for your photo albums.
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The Reality That Probably Isn't Actually There