Every single day you will recollect a moment, instance or memory from your past. One minute you’re watching television and the location of the show triggers a memory of a family holiday from your childhood. Or, you’re at a restaurant and the smell of stuffing conjures your mothers famous Sunday Roast Dinner. All the time, you are remembering, recollecting and reminiscing. You are a walking autobiography of stories, insights and wisdom just desperate to be shared.
Writing Your Memoirs
Now, you might be thinking, ‘who would want to read my life story?’ However, if you really think about the experiences you’ve gone through and the insights you can share, who wouldn’t want to read your life story? However, writing your memoirs is not about anybody reading it, it’s about the therapeutic benefits both physically and mentally that come along with it. We don’t live in an era of storytelling anymore and gone are the days where a family would gather around the fire and share stories of years gone by. Instead we consume televisions shows, read stories of the rich and famous and overall just get carried away with the rigour of everyday life. There is nothing wrong with this. However it does raise one major concern, ‘If I don’t write down my own life story then maybe one day I will forget it too’. Now, this isn’t to alarm you, however, you are well aware that the life you have lived deserves to be documented somewhere, even if it’s private and for nobody else to read. Research in the field of positive psychology has shown a long list of benefits attached to writing your memoirs and keeping a journal.
The Therapeutic Benefits of Writing Your Memoirs include:
Increase Memory & Knowledge
A brain gym like no other, writing down your life story on paper will cause you to stretch your memory and reach into your knowledge of an era’s pop culture, time, places and events. This is no small feat as keeping ones brain active is a luxury that can no longer be considered optional. In fact, reminiscence therapy is carried our regularly with individuals living with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
A popular term today and for good reason, the ability to be mindful has an unrivalled list of benefits including levels of happiness, improved concentration and an enhanced level of mental clarity. Putting pen to paper about your life story will call for a level of mindfulness that will bring about a feeling of inner peace and understanding.
Produces a Sense of Meaning
Research carried out at The University of Chester highlighted that the number one predictor of individual’s sense of ultimate well-being was one’s ability to not only find, but to produce, meaning in their own life. This does not need to be a complex task, it simply asks the question; does your life mean something? There is no greater way to answer, ‘yes’, to this questions other than to retrace your steps and remember just how meaningful your life has been.
Evoking Your Creativity
Though it may not flow at first, the mere act of writing something down, even a random series of words, will evoke your inner creativity. The more your write, the more you will recollect resulting in the joyful task of becoming a tourist in your own past.
Writing down your life experiences, good or bad, gives your mind a chance to release it resulting in a decreased level of stress hormones and a raised level of happy chemicals in the brain such as dopamine and serotonin. This will result in a feeling of inner calm and confidence and will also increase your level of self-esteem. Though none of us can say that our lives have been all peaches and cream, there is no doubt that the wonderful road of living has presented us with some magical moments that will forever mean the world to us. By writing these down you give your life the justice it deserves to somewhere, somehow live forever.
They do say there is a book in us all….at the very least, there are some journaling pages, whether they are ever published or not!
by Sean Patrick
Sean Patrick is the author of That Guy who loves the universe and runs the publishing company That Guys House who coach authors through the book writing process and publish and distribute wellness and inspirational titles. www.thatguyshouse.com