Whilst you can’t go international adventures right now, you can relive old ones whilst looking at photos from previous trips. For some, it is a reminder that this strange period of time will end.
New research, conducted by Cewe, has found that browsing through old photos is able to make 56% of people feel happy, and 30% of people more relaxed. It even reported that people found looking back at old pics more significantly more relaxing than listening to podcasts and even meditation.
Behavioural psychologist Jo Hemmings said that rediscovering old photos can be a simple yet effective form of self-care because it helps trigger treasured memories which can help to evoke feelings of happiness and positivity, giving an overall sense of wellbeing. Not only does it help trigger memories but it also encourages conversations with family and friends which helps strengthen relationships and bonds. Jo adds that reflecting on special moments and happy times creates and ‘emotional bubble’ as we have an auto-response to take ourselves back to that moment ad relive it as if we were there again.
According to A.J Mardsen, an assistant to a human services and psychology professor, focusing on positive memories causes the body to secrete dopamine (a happy hormone) which makes you feel good and gives you positive energy. Mardsen says that by focusing on experiences when you have felt a sense of accomplishment, you can feel even better. For example, a time you mastered speaking a new language to locals, or completed a challenging hike. “When we think about those past accomplishments on our trips, then we release more serotonin,” Marsden says. Serotonin is another ‘happy hormone’ that improves our well-being and overall happiness.
Appreciating your travel experiences in a gratitude journal, or thoughtfully reviewing travel photos to post on social media, can give you the chance to savour happy memories to look back on for years to come.
Many people find joy in looking back at previous travel adventures to not only celebrate what they were, but also get excited about being able to travel again and the new memories that they will make.