Healthy memories to revisit for well-being

Reminiscing about the past can make you feel good or bad; it depends what your memories are about. Some experiences are worth remembering and delving into because you can recreate joyful feelings. While it’s best to avoid unhelpful memories, putting them firmly back where they belong (once you’ve learned any lessons they provide) there are some incidents in your past that might be healthy to revisit.

You past has been and gone, and it’s mostly advisable to live in the present, which is where life that’s happening now occurs, yet, some memories hold magic. Consider the simple memory of the sunshine, the warmth on your skin and the bright, golden light that makes you feel good. Such a memory is so simple that you probably take it for granted, and don’t bring it out into the open unless the subject of sunshine arises. Think of glowing, healing sunshine on purpose though, especially when you’re feeling blue, and it serves a greater purpose than simply representing an image of the sun for reference.

Much of the time, people are encouraged to remain in the here and now because going over unpleasant ground from their history brings up sadness and pain, which negatively influences their mind and body. However, pleasing memories, which you have in profusion even if you aren’t immediately aware of them, have the power to be a healthy influence on you.

Sunshine is just one example of a useful memory to recall. Others include happy times when you were contented, or laughing with others. Or times when you achieved success, whether in love or your career, or when you reached a milestone. Recalling these memories in detail, using all your senses, creates fresh feel-good chemicals that boost your immunity and shake off the blues.

Searching, mentally scanning for a good memory might be difficult; you may meet resistance if you have other matters on your mind. Thus, sit quietly and comfortably in a place where you won’t be disturbed, or lie down if you prefer. Tell your mind you are going to think a pleasant thought, or recover a special memory that will aid your well-being. Then breathe deeply and slowly, enjoying following your breath entering and leaving your body for a few moments. Let intrusive concerns that pop into your mind go by without paying them attention. Don’t fight them, but don’t feed them with energy either, just return your thoughts to your breath.

When you are relaxed and your breath and heartbeat are in harmony, allow positive images, thoughts, sounds, sensations and scents to arise in your mind and body. Welcome them, and expect them to occur. If they don’t appear immediately, simply go back to observing your breath and enjoy relaxing, and try again in a moment or two.

You might discover a happy memory of an occasion from your past, or of something, like the sunshine, which makes you feel happy. When it comes into your mind, breathe into the experience and relive it in your head. Observe details about it, and know that feel-good chemicals are doing positive work within. However, if nothing but relaxation happens, go with the flow. Enjoy relaxing, and know that a pleasant memory might arise later or in your dreams.

Alternatively, encourage a simple memory of something you find wonderful by purposely recreating it in your mind. You might think of a flower, and look at its petals and remember its scent. Or, you might take your mind to a family outing you enjoyed, simply letting your mind play a film of what happened in your head. Don’t worry about whether your experience is an accurate representation of what occurred; it isn’t unusual for your mind to fill in the blanks, or alter small aspects here and there. In fact, all your memories are colored by your perspective rather than based on exactly what happens anyway.

Although it’s wise to live in the present most of the time, there is a place for the past. Unhealthy recollections replay painful events, sending feel-bad chemicals around your body and mind. The opposite type, however, are worth conjuring.

About bridget

bridget webber

Bridget Webber’s background rests in mental health, counselling, hypnotherapy, NLP and art. She brings knowledge from her experiences into her writing and specializes in emotional wellness and the creation of, rather than search for, joy. You can catch up with her insights and musings on Twitter.

Twitter: @InsightManager

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