September 26, 2023

If you happen to’re on the lookout for methods to spice up your happiness within the current, attempt reflecting on glad reminiscences out of your previous.

Recent findings on nostalgia suggest it can help us become happier. Whereas “nostalgia” is, by definition, a mix of constructive and damaging emotion, the constructive tends to outweigh the damaging.

Reflecting on glad reminiscences might help us to:

  • really feel a larger sense of well-being
  • really feel much less lonely
  • give us a way of continuity in our lives
  • make us extra optimistic about relationships and extra keen to attach
  • really feel extra linked to the previous

Usually, nonetheless, we might have a contented reminiscence—however we overlook that we now have it! As a result of we don’t attempt to dredge up the reminiscence of our grandparents’ kitchen, or our favourite faculty class, we don’t entry these reminiscences.

A fast, simple technique to evoke reminiscences is to faucet in to our 5 senses.

When author Marcel Proust ate a tea-soaked madeleine cookie, he was famously flooded by reminiscences of the previous, and at present the “Proust impact” refers to an intense, emotional reminiscence sparked by the senses.

Our 5 senses hyperlink us to our previous, tie us to the current, and assist us create reminiscences for the long run. They even assist us conjure up reminiscences that we’ve forgotten that we possessed—and to recall a pleasure is to expertise it twice.

Asking folks about their sensory reminiscences is an effective way to get to know them higher. Even a query so simple as “Rising up, what was your favourite sweet?” helps me really feel nearer to different folks.


  • Get out a photograph album and take a look at every picture intently. Don’t simply take a look at the faces, but additionally take a look at the garments, the ornament of the room or the outside scene. Observe how dated (or not) issues look. Attempt to recall the reminiscence of the second when the image was taken.

  • Attempt to recall your childhood bed room

  • Evaluate outdated images, house films, yearbooks, and different souvenirs

  • Look on-line to seek out photographs of locations you’ve lived up to now

  • Stroll by means of a neighborhood the place you used to dwell to see the way it has modified

  • Go on a “reminiscence go to.” So calm down in a quiet place, select a spot out of your childhood, and picture your self strolling by means of it. Actually open the entrance door, step in, and go searching. Take your time.


  • Recall some auditory reminiscences. In grade faculty, what was the sound of the bell that introduced the tip of sophistication (was there a bell)? What was the theme track of your favourite TV present?

  • Make a listing of sounds or songs you affiliate with totally different durations of your life

  • To take heed to the preferred music of various years, take a look at The Nostalgia Machine,


  • Reminisce with others in regards to the smells of grade faculty, highschool, and many others

  • Are there any smells that immediately evoke robust reminiscences for you?

  • Have you ever or somebody near you ever had a signature fragrance or cologne?

  • Make a listing of smells related along with your favourite holidays

  • Attempt to recall the odor of your grandparents’ kitchen?


  • As a toddler, did you’ve gotten a favourite junk meals that your dad and mom refused to purchase?

  • Invite buddies or household to share their experiences and reminiscences round meals, and pattern these tastes collectively

  • Write a Tastes Timeline of your life–of the flavors you most affiliate with totally different durations

  • Repair an outdated household recipe

  • What did you eat for breakfast as a toddler?

  • Is there a specialty meals that you simply eat solely once you go to your hometown?

  • Determine one in every of your favourite meals from childhood and make a plan to eat it once more


  • As a toddler, did you’ve gotten a favourite gentle stuffed animal or blanket?

  • Are there any contact sensations you keep in mind particularly vividly–sanded wallpaper, chilly flooring, favourite T-shirt from faculty?

Sharing these sense-memories with different folks is an effective way to attach, so that you would possibly reminisce with household or buddies. You may also wish to expertise once more sensations out of your previous—to stroll by means of an outdated neighborhood, purchase a favourite snack from grade faculty. If you happen to’re writing or presenting info, take into consideration together with details about the 5 senses to make your work extra concrete.

Throughout an expertise—a birthday celebration, a museum go to, a day with relations—attempt to establish the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures you’re experiencing. This train will make the expertise way more vivid—and so will probably be simpler to recall the reminiscence later.

By tapping in to our 5 senses, we will join extra simply with glad reminiscences from our previous—and in that method, change into happier within the current.