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Looking for instant happiness?

Looking for instant happiness? It’s right behind you: Reminiscing gives bigger boost than chocolate – and sex

A new study, launched today (2nd September 2014) has revealed that anyone looking for instant happiness need simply look to their past. Of the 2,040 UK adults surveyed, an overwhelming 80% of respondents stated that they were happiest when reminiscing about old times with friends and family, with just under half (45%) agreeing that reminiscing about past times gave them a greater, more prolonged emotional boost than chocolate (17%), and even sex (38%).

When asked which memory made them feel happiest, 45% of respondents cited the birth of their children, followed by a particular holiday (32%) and meeting their partner (30%). Christmas, birthdays and other celebrations took fourth place followed by wedding day memories, for just over 20% of respondents. School days, on the other hand, fared less well, coming in with 11% and work proved least popular with just 4% citing a job promotion as their favourite memory.

The survey also revealed that looking through old photos of happy times gave people the biggest emotional lift (53%), with talking to relatives and reminiscing about the past coming second (36%) and looking through photographs of parents and grandparents taking third place (25%).

The research was carried out to mark the launch of lifetile, an online service which enables users to securely build and organise the story of their life and share it, or parts of it, with the people who matter most.

Richard Grant, founder of lifetile, explained: “In the past, a shoe box under the bed housed all our most precious memories and sifting through its contents provided us with a simple tangible way of reconnecting with the past, but as technology has advanced, our focus has moved to the present.

“We have now reached a stage where we are so busy capturing everything, the second it happens, that we risk losing sight of why we are doing it – we forget to pause and look back at the unfolding story of our lives, and the things that really matter, moving instead from one status update to the next.”

lifetile enables users to curate the story of their life through an intuitive user interface which employs hexagonal “tiles” to capture and store memories in various formats including photos, videos, or other files such as Excel, Word or PDF documents. Information such as date, location and notes can be added to provide further context and reminders keep users informed of important dates.

The lifetile sharing functionality means users have complete control over what tiles and memories they choose to share – as well as who they share it with – and what they keep private. Built-in security measures provide peace of mind about the safety of user data, and each tile can also be password protected.

All the memories uploaded are displayed chronologically in the users’ ‘lifeline’, which runs along the bottom of the screen. Users can slide backwards and forwards along their lifeline for an at-a-glance overview of distant or more recent memories.

Grant concluded: “It was the loss of my dad which inspired me to develop lifetile. When he died, I realised that all I had left of him, apart from my memories, were a few photos. I had missed my opportunity to discuss where he grew up, what school was like, how he met my mum, and so many other questions. So I began to fill in the gaps and created a place to capture and store the things that really matter, somewhere I can build the story of my life with a view to one day handing this legacy over to my own children.”

The basic service will be free to users, however, a number of revenue streams are currently being explored. These include: a lifetile app, corporate lifetile accounts, family memberships, ‘bank vault’ level security for crucial life documents (e.g. wills and investments) and legacy gifting which, for a one off fee, will enable users to nominate next of kin to receive exclusive ownership of their lifetile, in the event of their death. Strategic partnerships are also being considered.

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