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Childhood is a magical time when we explore our surroundings and grow up with a loving family around us. Amazing memories are made during our youth, ones that we sometimes wish we could enjoy again. Of course, there’s no way to turn back the clock to do that, but we have a few suggestions to help you relive your childhood memories and enjoy your younger years once more.
Benefits of Reliving Your Childhood Memories
Some people may think reliving past happenings is a waste of time — but there are surprising benefits to it and a scientific angle as to why it may be a fruitful activity.
In cognitive neuroscience, there’s a phenomenon called memory consolidation. When two brain neurons fire repeatedly at the same time, they develop a connection, making them more likely to fire again together in the future until they become sensitized.
This process is triggered when you recall information or memory. What happens next is the neurons responsible for this specific scenario keep firing, strengthening the neural networks until it converts into a long-lasting memory you can easily and accurately access at any time.
For instance, the more you recall a time when you got the best Christmas present from your parents, the easier it is to remember the scenario. In addition, there are benefits to reliving your childhood memories.
- Happiness-boosting nostalgia: People who actively recall positive experiences of the past live a more joyful life.
- Disrupt negative thoughts and lower stress: Reliving happy memories with intention can stop unhealthy thought patterns.
- Strengthen social bonds: Revisiting shared happy experiences with your loved ones can deepen your connections.
- Opportunity for self-reflection and healing: Perhaps you encountered an unhappy, scary or hurtful experience in the past that taught you a valuable lesson — by reliving this memory you can gain insights about yourself and awareness to grow and live more happily.
- Fuel creativity: Many people are successful at their chosen careers because their passion is connected to their childhood. For instance, architects may say they became like that because they loved drawing as a child. If you don’t know what to pursue in life, recall the things you loved as a child. You might get an idea.
Ways To Relive Your Childhood Memories
There are interesting and fun ways to revisit an old experience. Here are some you can try.
1. Photos and Film
If you’re lucky, your parents will have saved some endearing moments on polaroid or film. Dig around in the attic and find all those photographs or tapes. Get your family together to arrange an evening of reminiscing over old photos. Perhaps organize the pics and create a scrapbook of your favorite moments. You can also consider getting a photo book printed for each person or make DVD so you can enjoy old videos. You could do a movie night with popcorn and close family. It’s a beautiful way to relive your childhood memories and reminisce about the people around you.
2. Recreate the Past
Arrange a family picnic and include some fun activities. Let your hair down, and don’t restrict yourself. Do whatever made you feel good as a kid. Our hectic lifestyles prevent us from doing the simplest things, which we all loved as children. If you’re at an amusement park, go on the rides, play the games, and take pics for your scrapbook. If possible, seek out old places you used to enjoy as a youngster and revisit them. Perhaps your parents used to take you to a museum that you loved, or a particular restaurant. Make a visit to those eateries and order what you used to have as a child, or take your own children to the museums and enjoy them together. Recreating memories you used to love as a child will bring an ounce of happy nostalgia and what better way to create new memories in the same places with your own family.
3. Music for the Soul
Make a mixtape or, in today’s terms, a playlist. Anything that brings back memories or that was released during your youth should go onto the list. Try to remember as far back as possible to the very first song that you can recall as well as music your parents would put on in the car or at family reunions. Think of big occasions such as birthdays or Christmas and what was playing then. Once you’ve created the list, sit down in a quiet spot. Pour yourself a coffee, and take a trip down memory lane as you listen to the oldies. Better yet, let the music play in the background and take out a box of crayons and some paper. When was the last time you colored in or drew a picture like you used to? Let your imagination take you away like it did when you were young. You’ll be surprised how much comes flooding back with simple activities.
A big part of everyone’s childhood is the time after school, during weekends or summer vacation when they enjoy playing games with their friends. If you’re one of those lucky ones who grew up without the internet, you’ve surely got a lot of thrills outdoors from gardening with your grandma to playing dodgeball or red light, green light. Recreating memories of the pre-internet era and how school assignments and what games to play were your only problems will hit you with a happy dose of nostalgia.
Reliving Your Childhood Memories Makes You Happy
Many of us would love to turn back the hands of time and return to our childhood years. Unfortunately, that’s not possible, but you can enjoy some old family photos with your loved ones to relive your childhood memories. Get the family together and go to an old favorite spot to let your hair down and feel like a child again. To jog your memory of being young, make a playlist of your childhood songs, and draw some fun pictures. We can’t go back in time, but we certainly can revisit and enjoy our memories using some of these unique ideas.
Original Publish Date August 03, 2020 — Updated 1/25/2024
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