Do you go back and look at your old photographs?
Do you show your old photographs when someone close to you visits your house?
If you ever did either of them, you already know the happiness photographs give. If you didn’t, you will know it now.
Last weekend, I wanted to organize the files on my laptop. While transferring the files to hard disk, I stumbled upon my old photographs. I was so happy then that I want to set a time on my calendar to keep reviewing photos on a timely basis to boost my happiness.
Why do photographs boost happiness?
They remind you of your happy times:
Life is a cycle of happiness and sadness. But when you are sad, you only think that is full of sadness. That is when you go back and see how beautiful your life was. And the tough time does not linger for long.
They remind us of the bond we shared with people:
You might have a few school and college friends whom you were very close to and not able to maintain the same now due to various reasons. Photos remind you of the way they smile, they laugh, their style, everything on the outer is captured there. Try sending the photo to your friend asking “Do you remember this?”. They will just love it.
They make us relive the experience:
If you have the photo of you skydiving for the first time, the photograph itself is sufficient to make the adrenaline rush in you again. Whatever must have been the experience, you live them for the second time through photos.
They give us the confidence that we can go back to our old self:
Looking at your old photographs on the days you feel low, it shows you that you were not a loser all the time. There were times when you won prizes, you won competitions. Life is not that bad after all. This is just a phase of struggle before winning again.
How to use photographs to maximize happiness?
Take a selfie every day:
Every morning as soon as I get ready, I click a selfie irrespective of the mood I am in. If you are in a negative mood, the smile on your lips tells your mind to be happy. And it is an immediate mood elevator.
Click pictures for every occasion:
While I was seeing my old photos, I had pictures for every festival. In our busy lives, we might not find time on normal days. Even though the house we stay is the same, the people who pose for the picture are the same, picture speaks a lot about the people. It tells how we grew over time, how close the bonding was, and the how person evolved over time.
Make occasions to take photographs:
If there are no occasions coming up for clicking photos, just have a photo session day. Dress up in your best attire and click photos. Dressing up well boosts happiness. And photos in that when revisited remind you of the best you can look.
Hang a family picture in the drawing-room:
A picture of the entire family in the living room is a representation of the love shared among the people in the house. It reminds us to stay together forever.
Hang a collage of the happy times with your spouse in the bedroom: Next time you are angry with your spouse, the picture of you two happy together, should change your mood instantly. Anger is just a momentary expression. You share a lot more with your spouse.
Create an evolutionary chart for your children:
Children love to see their pictures. My cousin poses really happy for the photos. I see a beaming smile when I send her younger pictures of herself. Keeping a laminated photo of their pictures from the time they were born till now makes them feel proud of themselves. They feel proud showing that to their friends.
Create an interesting album:
When I was a kid, my mother gave all my photos to my uncle asking him to make an interesting album from it. He started writing a story, cut the photographs into interesting shapes. Added a few funny pictures. And made a fantastic album. I feel so elated even to this day to see the album. Every time I visit home, looking at the album is a ritual.
Take a video on occasions:
There might be times when your kids talk in an adorable way. Capture them through a video so that they will be happy to hear their voice once they grow up. Once when I was in college, I laughed hysterically for 5 minutes. My laughter is contagious. My friends also started laughing looking at me. There was one friend who had great presence of mind to click a video of that. I don’t laugh that way anymore. But that video definitely makes me feel good about myself.
Use them as a screen saver:
You can have a collection of happy photos which you can make them as a laptop screen saver. Or you can purchase a digital photo frame.
Have a monthly tradition of seeing the photos:
In your busy schedule, you will forget that photos exist. Mark your calendar a time when all the family sits together and recollects the good old memories. My sister and I used to have a great time going over the old photos and asking my parents the stories behind the photos.
Moments matter than quality:
Many times you might skip clicking photos saying that you don’t have the camera ready or the lighting is dull. The quality of the picture does not matter as long as the moment is being captured.
Don’t click them for social approval:
A lot of people keep clicking till they get the perfect shot. Unless you want to send it for something professional, don’t do that. Let the moment be captured naturally. Facebook or Instagram likes does not define the goodness of photo. If you are clicking them for approval from others, it is only going to sadden you. You are giving your control of happiness to others by waiting for their likes. So click them for yourself.
Happy clicking and revisiting photos!