Inner Life: The Truth about Memories

When times are rough, the authoritarian turn sentimental. That’s the takeaway from a recent flurry of research papers suggesting that remembering happy moments might be a powerful antidote to stress and melancholy.

People appear to gain from good memories, especially those involving social contact since they modify how we see ourselves for the better.

Some researchers have investigated whether positive memory training can assist safeguard persons who are at high risk for depression based on this competing memory idea. According to a 2018 study by British researchers, teaching participants to recollect pleasant memories reduced depression scores significantly. The participants in the survey first learned to recognize negative self-perceptions, such as feelings of worthlessness. They next recalled instances when they’d proven their worth or when their actions contradicted their negative self-talk. Reliving these happy memories tended to diminish the brain’s ability to activate its adverse thinking pathways over time.

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