In a new poll, 78% of Americans said that looking back on cherished events in their lives has helped comfort them during this stressful time of lockdowns.
73% said they are reminiscing much more often these days, according to the survey of 2,000 American adults.
Respondents report telling an average of eight more personal stories each week than they did prior to the pandemic. 84% also have been sharing more photos with each other during this period.
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Aura Frames, the survey also examined the impact of reminiscing on respondents’ general wellness through the pandemic and election season.
To assess the relationship between reflection and wellbeing, the survey asked respondents to rate how a series of questions related to their life satisfaction levels and future outlook.
Those who reminisced often were more likely to strongly agree that they were hopeful for what the post-pandemic future holds (34%), compared to those who rarely (20%) or never (14%) looked back on past events.
Additionally, respondents who reminisced more often were also more likely to strongly agree that they were satisfied with their life (27%), compared to those who never (18%) or rarely (18%) do so.
“Revisiting the past brings back the joy of the good times and the comforting security of being reunited with loved ones. Happy memories remind us of when life was less complicated,” said licensed psychologist and professor Dr. Krystine Batcho, PhD, who studies the psychology of nostalgia.
“During difficult periods like the ones we’ve experienced in 2020, positive recollections strengthen our confidence that life will be good again one day and that we will be able to overcome current challenges and any that come our way. In good times, memories help us see how much we’ve accomplished, and they inspire us to pursue even greater goals.”
Photos from family gatherings topped the list of memories that respondents were most likely to turn to during the pandemic (28%)—with wedding photos and other celebrations like anniversaries or birthdays following closely behind.
Nearly six in 10 respondents (59%) said their fondest memories with friends and family were those from past holidays.
Yet in spite of the emphasis on memories that the pandemic seems to have prompted, nearly three in 10 respondents appear to be taking some time apart from one form of digital memory sharing.
Perhaps to gain a respite from depressing news being shared on social media, 28% of respondents reported pulling back from their online communities in the past 6-12 months, or deleted their accounts altogether.
Taking time away from the screen and getting outside, engaging in a hobby, or spending time with family to make new memories can offer a refreshing boost to one’s well-being.
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