This week I’ve been making lots of memorial cushions, which I’m sure will help the recipients to reconnect with their loved ones and happy times. It led me to wonder whether reminiscing is good for us. After doing some research it turns out that it is, which is great news for us all, and here’s why.
According to Wikipedia “Reminiscence is the act of recollecting past experiences or events.” Of course, this is easier as we get older as we have more experiences to draw on. But I recently overheard a conversation between my 10 year old and 5 year old where they were reminiscing about going to a sweet shop with their grandad as pre-schoolers. They both got quite excited as they remembered the trips they used to make, the sweets they bought, and the shop itself.
Reminiscing isn’t just a nice thing to do, it’s been proven that it can make us feel physically warmer. In July 2013 Chris Weller wrote in Medical Daily “nostalgia has psychological and physiological benefits. Not only does nostalgizing, as the researchers call it, help us feel physically warmer when we do it; we also feel more hopeful about our futures and emotionally closer to those around us.” This was certainly true for my children, who loved sharing their memories together.
There is lots of evidence to show that sharing stories can bring people closer together, particularly if someone is suffering from Alzheimers. An article for the Social Care Institute for Excellence says “Reminiscing can be a good way to make connections between people…” My children definitely exhibited this connection as they reminisced, and their excitement was wonderful to see.
It’s not been proven in any research that I can find, but I think there must be an important social aspect to reminiscing, as evidenced by the many quotes about the subject. A simple google search for ‘reminiscing’ brought up a myriad of quotes, from “Friendship is… reminiscing”, to Bob Dylan advising us to “Take care of all your memories, for you cannot relive them.” And if you believe in astrology, it seems that some star signs are more sentimental than others, with Sagittarians cherishing memories and remembering even the smallest details about a relationship.
Whether you reminisce over a glass of wine with a good friend, pour over an old photo album, or have a keepsake created from your clothes with special memories, one thing’s for sure – we all need to make time for reminiscing.