The Art and Science of Reminiscing

The Art and Science of Reminiscing

It’s sometimes frowned upon to think about the past.

But positive reminiscing can be powerfully positive.

If you do it right, it can boost happiness and wellbeing and provide many benefits often overlooked …

via Psychology Today by Mike Rucker


  • Reminiscing is an important yet often underutilized method to help us manifest a state of pleasantness.
  • Activating positive memories can help suppress depression and build enduring intellectual, social, and psychological resources.
  • Scheduling prompts for short bursts of reflection can be an effective strategy for developing a reminiscing practice.
  • Creating a personal “treasure chest” is a great technique for reminiscing once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

The art and science of reminiscing.

Source: Rawpixel/Depositphoto

A lot has been written about the art of living in the present and for good reason. The act of savoring and being mindful, especially when enjoying ourselves, is beneficial for our well-being in many ways.

However, there is an important, yet an often underutilized, component of the practice of savoring that is a powerful method in helping us manifest a state of pleasantness: relishing enjoyment from the past through reminiscing. Reminiscing is a simple practice anyone can use to extend the benefit of life’s joys—the fun you had yesterday, last year, or last decade—that few have adopted as a deliberate practice.

One of the compelling aspects of reminiscing is that the practice extends the benefits of having fun. Mindfulness and savoring are now well-established techniques for getting the most out of every moment, in the moment. Reminiscing is (almost) the opposite: a tool for getting the most out of your moments after the moment, ensuring your good times contribute as much as possible to your well-being even years after the fun. There are a variety of techniques one can use to reminisce. Below are a few examples. Pick one you think would be fun to try, and experiment with it to make the practice work for you.

The Treasure Chest

The biggest, most fun moments in your life are often just a matter of hours. Honoring this reality can ensure you make an effort to effectively hold on to important memories. Temporal awareness in the moment can help—reminding yourself how quickly things pass to ensure you enjoy your moments while they last. (Do be careful with this one, though, because reminding yourself how quickly moments pass can easily turn into negative rumination that dampens the moment’s fun.) The idea here is not to undermine the importance of mindfully enjoying our peak experiences in the moment; it’s that we all too often undervalue relishing our fond memories afterward.

For life’s big events—things like weddings, vacations, and other once-in-a-lifetime experiences—creating a personal “treasure chest” is a great technique for reminiscing. Your treasure chest can be for tangible things or—for the space-deprived—digital assets (or a combination of both). Either way, it should be filled with memorabilia that takes you back to that fond moment. Your chest might include old plane or train tickets, leaflets of places you visited, refrigerator magnets, photographs, small objects—or whatever you decide is meaningful. Like fun, it’s up to you to decide the best way to relive your fun memories. Instead of a prescription, here are a few ideas to get you started …

… keep reading the full & original article HERE