Positive Memories

“Memories are powerful.

Far from being the passive remnants of our history, our memories actively shape our experiences, our relationships and our life stories that we are yet to create. Now, exciting new research has found that our positive memories can also be used to increase positive emotions.

We are wired to remember the things that bring us pain. This is our ancient, highly effective, sometimes annoying, warning system, designed and finely tuned by evolution to keep us safe. By remembering the things that have caused us trouble, we’re more likely to avoid them and keep ourselves alive. This is a great thing for our survival, but not such a great thing for our feel-goods. (Evolution can be a pity sometimes.)

Our capacity for remembering the positive isn’t as easily triggered as the negative, but research has found that with deliberate effort, we can change this and use positive memories to work hard for us. Our positive memories can give us access to a remarkable repertoire of resources that can shape our experiences in positive ways, and strengthen our mental health.

Research has found that by savoring our positive memories we can increase positive emotions. It also has the capacity to reduce anxiety by reducing the way we attend to and experience threat, and it can ease the symptoms of depression by letting the world be seen less through a more optimistic, happier filter.”

This quote is taken from a website called ‘The Best Brain Possible’ run by Debbie Hampton who suffered with depression, tried to commit suicide which she survived but resulted in a brain injury. In this article she talks about how positive memories can be used to prevent depression, strengthen your mental health, prevent anxiety and also make us more optimistic.

I think this is very useful to my project as it is a perfect example of how illustrating positive memories can have a positive impact on people partaking in the project including those with mental health problems.

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