Emotional Wellbeing


Mental Health

Mandy Kloppers

World Wellbeing Week: the positive impact photos have on our wellbeing

World Wellbeing Week, 22nd-26th June, promotes awareness of all aspects of wellbeing including social, physical, emotional and mental. Protecting our wellbeing is always incredibly important, but during these testing times – it’s more crucial than ever. This World Wellbeing Week, photo printing experts CEWE, shares their research that discusses the impact of looking back at our treasured memories – and how this can have a positive effect our mental wellbeing.

When thinking about things that promote positive wellbeing, we tend to think of the obvious activities that are usually discussed including exercise, getting plenty of sleep or meditating. Of course, all of these are incredibly valuable to encourage positive wellbeing and make us feel good. But, research from CEWE actually shows that looking back at our photos has more of a positive impact. Having a bath ranked first (34%), followed by looking at photos (32%), exercise (25%), listening to podcasts (9%) and meditating (8%).

The research also further highlighted the range of uplifting and positive emotions looking back on photos of our treasured memories can have. Brits said that this makes them feel:

  • Nostalgic (65%)
  • Happy (56%)
  • Relaxed (31%)
  • Inspired (14%)

Clare Moreton, photo expert at CEWE, said: “Photos have a magical quality that allows us to be transported back to our happiest memories. When you capture a moment in a photograph, whether it’s a family portrait, a holiday of a lifetime or a fun weekend trip with friends – you can instantly feel yourself back in the moment just by looking at the photo. We tend to remember the things we could see, smell, hear and most importantly feel when we look back at our photos.”

“This instant feeling of positivity that we get from reminiscing over our photos impacts our wellbeing in such a beneficial way. It also helps us feel closer to loved ones and reminds us of those precious moments that we hold so close.”

Leading UK behavioural psychologist, Jo Hemmings says: “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.”

Here Jo shares her top five tips on how looking back at our favourite photos can boost our wellbeing:

  • Studies show that when people review photos on their phones, this not only triggers feelings of primary and positive emotions such as joy and love, but it also strengthens our memory and relationships. Our photos remind us of people, pets, places and activities that we love as well as helping us to remember the past. This has been shown to reduce our stress and enhance our mood and overall wellbeing.
  • Looking back and reminiscing on happy times and special moments, creates an ‘emotional bubble’ – as if on auto-response we return to the moment that we can see in the image. This fuses with our wider memories of the occasion that we might not have photographed and transports us back to a happier place.
  • Laughing at silly photos releases endorphins, our body’s natural stress reliever. Seeing images of our friends and family, in significant moments in our and their lives, reduces cortisol and adrenalin which are the hormones responsible for anxiety.
  • Our mantelpieces, windowsills, shelves and sideboards, where many of us display our treasured photos in frames have been shown to be one of the most peaceful places in our home. This is because of the immediate sense of wellbeing that we get by looking at photos of our loved ones at various stages in their developing lives.
  • Research has also shown that having ‘real’ photos in our home, provides regular psychological positive reinforcement by reminding us of ‘social bond enhancement’ – essentially what and who are important to us.

For more information about CEWE visit: https://cewe-photoworld.com/


Photo by sarandy westfall on Unsplash

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