NEW YORK — How are you getting through the tough times of 2020? For many, holding on to the past is seeing them through these uncertain times, a new survey finds. Nearly 80 percent of Americans say positive memories have been a “lifeline” for them during the coronavirus pandemic.
The census-balanced poll of 2,000 Americans reveals 78 percent of respondents say looking back on some cherished past events has helped comfort them during this tumultuous time. The OnePoll survey adds Americans have told an average of eight more personal stories each week than they did prior to the pandemic.
Commissioned by Aura Frames, the study also examined the impact of reminiscing on a respondent’s general wellness throughout the pandemic and the stresses of the 2020 election season.
Does being nostalgic make you happier?
Respondents who say they reminisce often say they’re more likely to strongly agree they’re also hopeful for what the post-pandemic future holds (34%) than those who rarely (20%) or never (14%) look back on past events.
Additionally, respondents who reminisced more often were also more likely to strongly agree that they were satisfied with their life, even post-pandemic (27%), than 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,” says licensed psychologist Dr. Krystine Batcho, PhD, in a statement.
“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,” the professor who studies the psychology of nostalgia adds.
Happiest during the holidays
The research also revealed the types of memories respondents are most likely to turn to during the pandemic. Photos from family gatherings (28%), wedding photos (25%), and photos from celebrations like anniversaries or birthdays (24%) are among those most likely to be pulled out by respondents since the beginning of the pandemic.
Holiday photos are also popular (22%) unsurprisingly and nearly six in 10 respondents (59%) add their fondest memories with friends and family members occur during the holidays.
Yet in spite of the emphasis on memories that the pandemic seems to have prompted, nearly three in 10 respondents are taking a break from sharing their experiences on social media. Twenty-eight percent of respondents reported having lessened their social media presence in 2020. Some have even gone as far as deleting their social media accounts altogether during the past six to 12 months.
“With its constant ads and divisive commentary, social media platforms can be a very stressful place,” explains Abdur Chowdhury, CEO and co-founder of Aura Frames. “I’ve found that taking time away from the screen and getting outside, engaging in a hobby or spending time with family – and making new memories – can be a refreshing boost to one’s well-being.”