How does your memory work? The power of a printed photograph.

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How does your memory work?

“How does your brain lay down and retrieve memories? Your brain is made up of 100 billion neurons. As you grow and develop, these neurons are ‘wired up’ to each other, and communicate through thousands of connections – synapses. Memories are formed when certain connections are strengthened.” ~sciencemuseum.org.uk

Regardless of the times when you talk and think nobody on the planet understands you – humans do remain great communicators.  We use language by way of symbols and words that represent our feelings, ideas, actions, and qualities.  This is complex – and yet our lives are becoming seemingly more complex and the flood of information and memories can get ‘filed’ in rarely recovered folders in our mind.

A photograph has the power to recover memories, increase mood – reminding ourselves of positive times that improve how we feel now. Looking at a printed photograph is valuable – people hold them or look at them in an album or on a wall and reminisce about the past.  What is an experience 20-30+ years ago – and possibly long forgotten can create a “remember this” in your mind and bring stories increasing bonds between people.  A printed photograph can make you remember your daughter bursting with laughter on the floor, the way your son loved to run fast as he could,  completely free, and it can bring back stories of your grandmother and how she would hug you or the smell of fresh-baked bread.  It revives your senses, it re-files your memories putting more pleasant thoughts in the current files of your mind.  It brings you tears at times too – and that is what makes a photograph valuable.

It’s not just a piece of paper.  It is lifetimes of vivid book marks connecting your memories.   A printed photograph is one memory that connects many memories and sorts them in a more pleasant order…. that is what makes one photograph so special.

Think about your favorite few photographs that come to mind and take a minute to reflect on the emotions that those photographs provoke – that is the power of a photograph.

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