Memory, Memory Recall, Memory Retention, General

How to Relive a Memory

Updated 01/20/2023

By Arnold
May 13, 2022

 

 

When you close your eyes and think of a memory, what comes to mind? 

It could be baking a cake with your grandmother, gardening with your father, or experiencing your first kiss.

A little science and creativity can help you relive those special moments. 

The benefit of recalling positive memories is it reduces vulnerability to depression and improves mood. And, if you’re worried that the details of your memory are fading, the best way to strengthen your memory is to relive it repeatedly.

How can you relive a memory, though? Read on to find out!

Smell the Roses

 

 

Everyone has a song that, as soon as it’s played on the radio, we are instantly transported back in time and reminded of a person, place, or event.

Whenever I hear “Revolution,” I relive the memory of my friend’s 13th birthday party. I can see myself in David Tanner’s backyard, watching the DJ put the Beatles’ latest single on the turntable. I remember being blown away by hearing that classic opening riff for the first time.

The relationship between music and memory is powerful. Research shows that music can be a particularly effective cue for reliving memories. The Timeline on My Stories Matter has hundreds of playable songs from every decade to help trigger your memories.

Music also has a tremendous influence on our emotional and cognitive systems. For example, one study found that verbal memory and attention improved when people listened to their favorite music daily compared to those who didn’t.

Listen to Music 

 

 

Everyone has a song that, as soon as it’s played on the radio, we are instantly transported back in time and reminded of a person, place, or event.

Whenever I hear “Revolution,” I relive the memory of my friend’s 13th birthday party. I can see myself in David Tanner’s backyard, watching the DJ put the Beatles’ latest single on the turntable. I remember being blown away by hearing that classic opening riff for the first time.

The relationship between music and memory is powerful. Research shows that music can be a particularly effective cue for reliving memories. The Timeline on My Stories Matter has hundreds of playable songs from every decade to help trigger your memories.

Music also has a tremendous influence on our emotional and cognitive systems. For example, one study found that verbal memory and attention improved when people listened to their favorite music daily compared to those who didn’t.

Journal 

 

 

Did you know that writing about important personal experiences for 15 minutes daily improves mental and physical health

Try it out! Write about a memory you hold dear. This could be in a: 

  • Travel journal. 

Maybe your memory was associated with a fun trip!

  • Dream journal. 

Is there a particular dream you’ve always had, awake or sleeping? 

  • Gratitude journal. 

Maybe it’s something you’re thankful for or a precious moment you’ll always treasure.

  • Reflective Journal.

Journaling is good for one’s mental health. Research has shown that writing about stressful events can improve psychological well-being. Writing forces a closer, more objective examination of past traumas and negative behavior. Reliving and reflecting on a memory helps with emotional healing by enabling us to gain a better understanding and more balanced perspective.

       • Memoir. 

Have more than one special memory? Compile it into a memoir! 

Expressive writing improves memory. In one study, students who wrote about emotional events or feelings had greater autobiographical memory six months later. 

Whatever your type of journal, record your memories on My Stories Matter.

Take Photographs  

 

 

Researchers in one study recruited 294 participants to tour a museum while listening to an audio guide. Half of the participants were given cameras and told to take ten photos. 

After the tour, participants were asked to answer multiple-choice questions about the objects they saw. Those who took photos recognized nearly 7% more things than those who didn’t

Upload your photos on My Stories Matter and use them to conjure up memories from your past. Write about the stories behind the images - the people, places, and experiences that shaped who you are today.

Keep a Vacation Jar 

 

 

Sadly, the memories we want to relive blur as time marches on. Is the memory of that magical beach vacation slipping away like sand through your fingers?

To prevent this, preserve aspects of an experience by creating a vacation jar. Fill a shoebox, vase, or mason jar with all your favorite items and memorabilia associated with that memory, such as seashells, pine cones, ticket stubs, restaurant receipts, and polaroids.

Objects strongly associated with particular memories will help cue them so that you can relive the memory. Keep the objects on a shelf as a constant reminder.

Repeat History 

 

 

Memory is spread out across the brain. There isn’t one spot where it can be triggered and reawakened by any specific one of our sensory channels. 

Revisiting a childhood hangout, for example, enables you to tap into many sensory perceptions; the smell of the ocean air, the cawing of seagulls above your head, or the warmth of the sand under your feet.

The more we relive a memory, the stronger it becomes.

Re-create a Painting 

 

 

Was there an activity associated with the memory you want to relive? Did it involve painting, baking, sport, or a board game? 

Was your partner an artist? Re-create a piece of art you worked on together. Did your parents like the outdoors? Go back to the park and walk that hiking trail again, just like you did with them years ago.

Try recapturing a scene in the past, whether with watercolors, sketching, or line drawing. Many artists have utilized their passions and talents to create things they wanted to remember, such as Vincent Van Gough’s “Starry Night.” 

Everyone can be creative. It doesn’t matter how ‘good’ you are. Studies have shown that drawing and painting can enhance our memory.

Meditate 

 

 

Meditation is not only relaxing but also fantastic for your mind and memory. Mindfulness Meditation is the practice of being present at the moment. It trains us to let go of negativity and calm the mind and body. All you have to do is: 

• Find a quiet, comfortable place

• Start small: Take 5 minutes 

• Sit, don’t lie down 

• Settle your mind 

• Breathe in and out profoundly 

Mindfully meditate as you shower, walk, or do dishes if you live in a chaotic environment where quietness isn’t an option. Push away intrusive thoughts by focusing on your breathing and the present moment. Meditation is easy to master, and you can do it anywhere.

A study of participants who meditated 20 minutes daily for 4 days showed lower stress levels and significant improvements in memory and cognition. Those who meditated scored ten times better on a working memory task than a control group who didn’t.

Relive with My Stories Matter 

 

 

My Stories Matter enables you to relive your memories - from the magnificent to the mundane. They are all of what makes you, you.

Leverage thousands of cultural cues (top songs, books, TV shows, and movies from over the decades) and hundreds of prompts to relive your precious memories.

Unlike traditional social media, My Stories Matter doesn’t share or sell your data. Your memories are safeguarded and shared (or not shared) in the way you choose. 

My Stories Matter enables you to: 

  • Collaborate with friends and family on a shared memory

  • Relive your adventures from oldest to newest

  • Explore your past experiences alongside cultural context from the same period

  • Keep a journal

  • Create a memory book or publish your memoir

  • Help you with your writing

  • Enhance or colorize old photos associated with your memories

  • And much more!

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