They say a picture is worth a thousand words and that couldn’t be more true. A photograph has the ability to transport you into a different state of mind and make you feel a certain way. In today’s uncertain world, looking at the perfect photo can actually be therapeutic. According to the positive psychology people, photographs can act as a direct reminder of times when you were experiencing a certain type of pleasurable emotion – whether it was pure joy or relaxation, excitement or calmness. They can trigger a sequence of brain activity that actually helps us to recapture that emotion that we were experiencing at the time. Because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It turns out taking a trip down memory lane comes with benefits.
The pandemic comes with some pretty heavy doses of reality and none of it is good. Reminiscing about positive experiences and places you’ve been can actually release the feel-good type of neurotransmitter. Your body makes it, and your nervous system uses it to send messages between nerve cells. That’s why it’s sometimes called a chemical messenger. Dopamine plays a role in how we feel pleasure. It’s a big part of our unique human ability to think and plan.
Travel is good for a soul and nobody can deny it. Scientists have proven that travelling is good for both your body and your mind! It has been shown to improve your mood, lower your risk for heart disease, enhance your creativity, your sense of happiness and satisfaction, and much more. Although many people were grounded this year and vacation plans were canceled, there’s still a way to hold onto that vacation feeling, how? By looking at photos of previous vacations. Here are some tips from an article published in the New York Times to keep that post-vacation bliss feeling even though you’re at home.
Organize and be selective
If you are anything like me, my phone is overflowing with pictures in the moments of traveling. In normal times, we are busy out making new memories and sometimes we just don’t have the time to create lasting memories with the photos in our electronics devices. Go back through them with a critical eye and delete some that on second thought are probably forgettable moments and maybe adjust lighting on the ones you wish to keep.
Reminisce. Most people snap back to their particular baseline level of happiness shortly after returning from a vacation. But psychologists say that reminiscing about a trip, even long after it’s over, can bring deep pleasure in the present. “Flipping through a photo album or watching old video clips, helps us relive the positive experience and the positive feelings we had at the time,” writes Sonja Lyubomirsky, a psychology professor at the University of California, Riverside, in “The Myths of Happiness.” This can also be accomplished, she and others have said, by savoring the details of a trip (the smell of jasmine in the park, the sound of the orchestra in the amphitheater) and sharing them with others.
Retreat. “Nowhere is there a more idyllic spot, a vacation home more private and peaceful, than in one’s own mind, especially when it is furnished in such a way that the merest inward glance induces ease,” wrote the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius in a translation of his “Meditations” by C. Scot Hicks and David V. Hicks.
Surround yourself. There is something to be said about a tangible printed photo and if you have all your photos stored digitally on your computer, now might be the time to get your favorites printed out. Place your framed photos along with mementos from your favorite trip wherever you can see them daily, at work, home, your home office, etc. to stir up those feel-good feelings. Did you go on a trip with someone? If so, consider meeting up to reminisce about your trip and exchange photos. Who knows, maybe your friend took a shot you love even more than yours!
Feeling inspired to start flipping through vacation photos? Get started today! EQ Heights is a social house and we know how the Coronavirus has impacted everyone. When you have decided the timing is right for you and yours to get a bit more of a personal connection, we serve great coffee, teas and sweet and savory treats in a welcoming atmosphere where people can connect with friends while maintaining social distance. We are currently at approximately 25% of our dine in capacity and we have sanitizing stations and are following CDC recommended safety protocols. For those who appreciate the outdoors, even when it is a bitchilly , our deck offers seating as well and we are open until 7pm. For the latest updates and changes, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook!