It’s Happiness Happens month, and that fits perfectly with this challenge. This challenge is about reliving experiences that made you feel alive, purposeful, and happy all over again. It’s about bringing those experiences that once made you feel so good but got lost somewhere along the way back into your life. It’s true that you can’t relive everything. But, you can relive many awesome moments. Why would you want to take this challenge? Following are 5 reasons.
5 Reasons You Will Want To Take The Relive The Past Challenge
1. Reminiscence Therapy Can Help With Psychological Well-Being
Reliving the past has an actual term from the American Psychological Association – reminiscence therapy. It has predominately been used with elderly patients that have dementia, and it has been shown to improve coping skills, reduce depression, improve cognitive function, and improve the quality of life. Usually, Reminiscence Therapy involves discussing the past and listening to or looking at things that remind people of the past.
I know that if I can get my father to relive the past in conversation, he suddenly transforms from an old, weak man to a young, vibrant man. His voice and his posture change, and he’ll often go forward with his day with more energy and spunk than he did before he relived his past.
I’ve found it works for my younger friends and family too!
In short, reminiscing about the past can help you feel better about life. And that’s always a good thing!
2. Become More Present
Believe it or not, reliving your past helps you to become more present. It can make you appreciate your present moment much more when you are reliving things that made you feel good because you feel good. Feeling good helps you stay in the moment.
Of course, reliving some past memories can make you become much more present and unhappy if you haven’t let go of or forgiven certain past memories. But, doing those things is another challenge. In this challenge, you will want to relive happy past memories that uplift you and make you feel good.
3. Connect With Someone Else
I highly suggest that you relive your past with someone else if you can. When you relive the past with someone else, you often feel more connected to them. Even if you are just talking about things that have happened, and you are not actually there together, you remind each other of your history and how far you’ve come, and that makes you feel more connected than ever.
For instance, I have a friend that I’ve been friends with for over 30 years. When we get together, we will often go to places that we used to go to when we were younger and do things that we did when we were younger. We instantly feel more connected by doing so.
But, if you can’t relive it with someone else, I suggest reliving a moment about someone else; especially someone you are struggling with currently. By looking back on fonder times, you can remind yourself of the relationship you had, what you loved about them, what you liked about them, and why you might owe it to yourself to forgive them or make things stronger with them, depending on your situation.
4. Boost Your Self-Esteem
Looking back on fun and rewarding times in life will help you feel better about yourself right now, especially if you are currently struggling with something. Reliving your past helps you remember how talented, unique, strong, and insightful you are. It can remind you of how desirable you are. It can remind you of how far you’ve come. In short, there is a ton of ways it can affect your self-esteem for the better.
5. Improve Your Life
As you look back on situations where you came through on top, you will be more inclined to tackle new situations that you may be struggling with right now. This is true in every area of your life.
For instance, if you relive a date with someone you loved in the past, you will be reminded of how desirable you were and how many unique things you had to offer that person. You will also remember how nice it is to be out with someone you like and get along with. If you have a date coming up, you will remind yourself of who you are and what you have to offer, and you will go into your date with more confidence and excitement.
It doesn’t matter if it’s been one year or thirty, reliving past memories like feel as real as they did back then and help you improve your life right now.
Don’t Get Stuck In The Past
The point of this challenge is to relive the past and benefit from it, not get stuck in the past.
While the past can be a nice place to be for some people, getting stuck in the past will affect your happiness in the now and your future happiness. Being stuck in the past can cause you to:
- resist any change that comes up.
- reflect on how good things ‘used to be’ and miss how good things are now.
- neglect your current relationships.
- stop working on personal growth.
- stop planning for the future.
Therefore, if you currently find yourself talking about the past and wishing for things to be the way they used to be, or you start doing that during this challenge, you will want to remind yourself that living in the past is not good for your happiness or your health. You want to relive and reminisce, but not live there.
How To Make It Easier To Relive Your Past In The Future
After you do this challenge, I want you to make your current moments easier to relive in the future. Pay more attention to the present. Take in as many details as you can – sounds, smells, and sights. Allow yourself to acknowledge how you are feeling – excited, happy, or nervous. And really experience your life in the moment. When you go to relive your past 1, 5, or 10 years down the line, you will be able to do it much easier with vibrant memories.
The Relive Your Past Challenge
Some of your past may be troubling and cause you to get stuck in despair, regret, etc. Those are not the moments you want to go to for this challenge – that’s for another challenge where you work on letting go and forgiveness.
For this challenge, you want to relive happy moments, encouraging moments, and fulfilling moments. You want to remind yourself of great things that you’ve done, happy moments you’ve had, and the potential that you have.
30 Days Of Reliving Your Past
Let’s aim for 30 days with this challenge. With all your memories, there are sure to be more than 30 things you would want to relive.
It doesn’t matter if they are all from the past year or spread out over your lifetime. The important thing is you relive experiences that made you feel good, proud, happy, smart, rewarded, etc.
1. Go To The Place It Happened
Everything in your past has a place attached to it. It may be your old home, your old school, or somewhere else. You will want to go to the place where a good memory resides.
Often, you can physically go somewhere to relive a moment. But, if you can’t, we have this wonderful thing called the internet that can take you there in a second. Type in where you want to go in Google, click on the map image, pick up that little orange person in the bottom right of your screen, and drop them on the street you want to be on. Or, just click on a picture uploaded of the image. While you can’t move behind or inside buildings this way, you can definitely see the areas where you want to go to – or at least areas very close that are associated with the memory.
Following is an image of a place around ‘Hell’ in Grand Cayman that my husband and I went to during a cruise. This one image brings back the entire fun journey from the ship to this place.
2. Gather Up Details About The Experience
Remember the moment and try to gather up details about how it felt, what you saw, what you smelled, what you said, what others said, and the overall mood of the moment. You will be amazed at how much information you can recall when you really sit down and try.
3. Talk About The Experience
Talking about the moments in your past can help you remember even more details and relive the experience even more. This is especially true if you are talking to someone who was with you. But it’s not necessary to have someone who was involved at the moment.
Think of Forest Gump sitting on the bench reliving all his memories with strangers. Be like him and wow people with your stories!
Talking is what helps you clarify things that happened and can help add more reality to the moment. Thoughts tend to sway from here and there, but talking keeps you focused.
4. Relate Your Past To Now
Let’s say you are reliving a moment where you went on a date. While that moment is going to feel exciting and fun, it will also feel like you were sexy, wanted, and interesting. Let that feeling remind you that you are sexy, wanted, and interesting! And let that knowledge wash over your current relationships today.
Doing this will give you a major confidence boost in life. All of those past experiences involved you – the ‘you’ who is capable of fun, doing great things, being interesting, and accomplishing stuff. Sometimes we all need a reminder of those times that we proved how amazing we really are.