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Photographing is a delight. But going around shooting clicks can deprive you of the best part: keeping special moments in your soul. This is what researchers from Fairfield University, in the state of Connecticut (USA), discovered. Study participants had a 10% drop in object recall and a 12% drop in attention to detail when they recorded images through their cell phone camera, compared to times when they just looked at a landscape or artwork. “It is common to think that photos and videos make moments last forever. But our memories are only meaningful when the experience stimulates several senses”, says clinical psychologist Flávia Penteado, from São Paulo. We teach you (on the side) to make the most of every moment.
1. To broaden the senses
Recording a moment on a machine tells the brain it doesn’t have to worry about it. Unless, in addition to recording, you spend time enjoying the situation: look at the details, feel the aromas of the environment, listen to the noise around, touch the object. The more sensory input, the more pleasurable the experience and memory will be later.
2. To slow down
Photographing and posting all the time can be a sign of anxiety. “The modern routine brings the feeling that there is no time to waste. Not even during leisure time”, says Flávia Penteado. For example, you go to a tourist spot, click on it, show your friends that you’ve been there and move on to the next one. Ufa! A good practice is to spend ten minutes just observing the place, without falling into the temptation to pull out your smartphone.
3. To live in the present
Practice paying attention to the moments by taking advantage of even everyday situations. When drinking water, don’t take it in one gulp, thinking about the emails you have to answer. “Feel the liquid passing through the throat, imagine that you are hydrating the body”, guides the psychologist.
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