Looking through old photographs can be good for your mental health and your memory. Even flicking through your pics and posts on Facebook can boost your wellbeing, according to new research.
The University of Portsmouth found that three-quarters of people they studied looked at their own photos on Facebook when they were feeling low so they could ‘self-soothe’. It can be comforting to reminisce about happier times, she says, and looking at your pics can be “as soothing as a walk in the park”.
Psychologist Dr Clare Wilson from the University of Portsmouth says looking at our photos is a way of connecting with our past selves when our present selves need reassurance. She adds: “When in the grip of a negative mood, it is too easy to forget how good we often feel. Our positive posts can remind us of this.”
This form of ‘reminiscence therapy’ – connecting with old memories to self-soothe and help stop depressive moods getting worse – can be practised anytime, anywhere: the study showed that 70% of people prefer to access their Facebook photos and posts via their phones.