A kind of reverse flashback could be the key to increasing positive emotions and life satisfaction according to Norwegian research.
The mechanisms that maintain Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) could be used summon positive memories, experts found. Even healthy people are affected by imagery.
“If we visually remember an image from an unpleasant interaction with our boss, this can cause an increased level of anxiety about our work and demotivation,” the lead author wrote.
Healthy volunteers who practised three types of imagery for 12 weeks – to cope with negative emotions from past events, to apply to future events or goals and to improve social interactions – reported diminished depressive symptoms.
Brain scans showed significant changes in the beta activity in the part of the brain involved in imagining pleasant emotions.