Have you ever accidentally looked back upon your old diaries, photo albums, and hours later, you emerge from an almost hypnotic state from having been taken back into your past? Familiar faces and places drew you into the depths of your memory, leaving you with a sense of nostalgia and sometimes, longing. But then life happens. So you snap out of it and throw yourself back to the hustle and bustle of your regular life. Yet, as you set about your day, you notice a lighter step, calmness to your mood, or even a way of security and confidence. That’s because memory isn’t just a school that permits us to store and recall information. This journey into your past can raise many various emotions — feelings of joy and gratitude, appreciation, sadness, and anger. It’s a reminder of blessings, loved ones, victories, and survival.
Why is that this act of revisiting the past and recalling experiences so important to us? Why can we find ourselves reminiscing about the past, and why are we so scared of losing these memories? Researchers say that it’s becoming more evident that memories and reminiscence add value to our lives because memories are precious and irreplaceable. They are the entries to get access to our history and help to define why or who we are today. They are reminders of our firsts — first car, first graduation, first home — and that they are treasured moments of lasts — an adored pet, a beloved friend, or loved one. And in remembering the past, these memories evoke real emotions that affect us within the present. Memories can take us back to happier times and lift our moods. They can be our best companion once we feel lonely.
Interestingly, no matter how vividly we remember certain events or people, there are a number of variables that can influence how we recall our memories. There is a posh relationship between memory and emotions, with the consequences causing memory trade-offs in order that some memories become enhanced with more specific details resulting in impaired memory in other aspects. This study further suggests that the detail of memory is influenced by whether the experience was positive or negative. Our moods can be influenced by the accuracy of our memory recall.
Lucky for us, we don’t need to rely solely on our memories to inform our story. A common method to capture a number of our most treasured memories is through photography. It’s true what they assert, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Taken at the proper moment, one photograph can visually tell a whole story. Photographs are moments frozen in times that help us to recollect the small print of the past — details that your memory, on its own, can’t fully retain. They are visible representations of moments from your history which will help build onto your memories, transforming your trip down memory lane into a fuller, and more accurate, experience. Photographs can also assist you to share your past with others. From flipping through an old photo book or photo album to scrolling through a gallery on your smartphone, sharing your experiences and memories with others can assist you to connect with them and develop deeper relationships. You’re not only giving them access to your history, you furthermore may are giving them a glimpse into who you’re and where you come from (physically and emotionally). When these photographs bring back all your good old memories, all you need to do is preserve them by giving it a good look. Give your photo album a good soft cover binding to make it last longer so that you can cherish your memories when you look at it.
Some may argue that because our most special moments are so easily captured in this day and age, the value of memory is diminishing. Why make efforts to retain memories once we have access to everything at our fingertips? So often, we snap, click, post, and advance with our lives. Long gone are the times of dropping off a roll of film, waiting eagerly for days to select up our prints, sorting through to seek out the right ones, and then adding them to albums and frames. Now we have immediate access to all of our pictures and videos, we can scroll through them and play them over and over again, and with just the click of a button, we will display our images for the planet to view it. No need for printing or framing. No need to invite friends over. There isn’t even a requirement to connect and send via email. As soon as the image or video is uploaded into social media, like Facebook or Instagram you’re done. The memory captured and shared…time to move on.