They can enrich our lives, we can share them with anyone anytime, and, best of all, they can last a lifetime.
No, I’m not talking about the never-ending pack of Tim Tams we all dreamed of when we were younger.
I’m talking about memories. Because this Mindful Monday at UEC, we’re learning about how the power of making and sharing memories can help us live a more fulfilled, positive life.
You may be thinking: Why are memories so crucial to our mental health? What’s the point of holding on to the past when there is so much to focus on in the present (and so much to plan for in the future)?
Well, because – in no uncertain terms – memories form the foundation of our mental wellbeing and personal growth.
Everything we’ve learned so far in our focus on wellbeing in September ties into memories. The development of a positive, grateful, growth mindset leads to the creation of more positive and long-lasting memories. The importance of learning lessons – especially the hard way – would be null without recollection and application to future efforts.
At the heart of memories are the emotions they evoke. When a smell, song or place reminds you of a certain someone or a certain experience, it conjures up an emotive response within us that reminds us who we are, where we’ve come from and what we’ve learned.
This is especially important in the surreal ‘groundhog days’ of 2020, when in a restricted world we can sometimes feel like life is on loop.
With anxiety and depression on the rise in isolation, making positive memories can be a way to regain hope, motivation and good mental health.
This month at UEC, we’ve created some great memories with our team. Whether it’s a new experience like our rooftop yoga sessions, a tantalising new tea blend or simply recalling and celebrating the wins we’ve had and lessons we’ve learned, we are ensuring that when we look back on 2020, we are taking the good with us and leaving the negative thoughts behind.
Here are three easy ways to ensure our positive memories stick with us beyond this crazy pandemic period:
- Actively create more positive memories: This one may seem obvious, but not enough of us are doing it. Especially when working from home – or in some instances not working at all – it can be easy to slip into a Netflix binge or a homebound routine with little natural light. Change it up. Whether it’s something as simple as working from a café at the park instead of from your home office, starting an online course as opposed to TV binging, or finally going to that café you’ve been following on Instagram forever, make a conscious decision to brighten up your day and the memories will follow.
- Take photos: How often have we been scrolling through our photos and stumbled upon some holiday snaps we’d almost forgotten about: That beach in Byron, that sports event in Spain or that wedding in Waikiki? The nostalgia kicks in, and the good vibes come rushing back. It reminds us of the good things in life – that there is a big, wide, exciting world outside of our iso-shelters, and that we’ve got something to look forward to
- Jot them down: Similar to a gratitude journal, keeping track of the moments that make us smile each day can do the same when we re-read them at a later point. In the case of not-so-happy memories, don’t jot down how they made you feel; instead make a note of the lessons learned during that experience, and what positives you can take away from them. And, if you find yourself slipping into a rut, run your eye and mind over these memories and divert your mindset from a fixed, defeated one into a positive, growth one.
So, what memories have YOU made so far in 2020?