You may not be familiar with the word: reminiscing, which is why our coaches will break it down for you today.

First and foremost, reminiscing is the act of remembering imprecise and fuzzy memories.

Recalling past moments is something you do regularly… after watching a TV show, hearing a song on the radio that reminds you of the good old days, sharing a memory with your children or your grandchildren. It is also quite common to only remember a couple of anecdotes about the triggering moment.

Indeed, our memory is far from perfect and likes to play tricks on us. But we can also play on it! Using the right stimuli can bring back buried memories that give us a lot of happiness. But why do we enjoy reminiscing so much?

The pleasure of reminiscing about our past is the joy of finding ourselves again. It is important to be comfortable with the times we live in and if sometimes you feel a little sidelined because society is moving quickly, bringing your memories to the surface makes you happy because you can immerse yourself in a familiar universe in which you were at the center of the action.

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According to psychiatrist Christophe André: “Positive psychology is not only about enjoying the present moment (even if it is the most important)! It is also about working with the past: often, remembering the good times, visualizing them to savor them, or playing the movie of our life turns memories into a great source of pleasure.”

Studies have been done at the University of Montreal to determine which sense has the longest impact on our memory.

Vision comes first at 83% (followed by hearing at 11% then smell 3.5%, touch 1.5% and taste 1%). Bonding over a photo album is always a joyful moment.  Simply looking at an image makes you think about anecdotes that surrounded the event. When you enjoy watching an old movie again, it’s not only for the movie but for the whole context surrounding it. A musical tour with stars from the 1980s is a huge success because it allows an entire generation to go back to an atmosphere they experienced during their adolescence.

If you want to improve the image you have of yourself, there’s nothing like looking back to your old memories. The process highlights your value and makes you enthusiastic about moving forward in life. Sharing your memories is the best way to establish social connections in a friendly atmosphere. You will see that when you reclaim your story, you gain lasting energy.

Social and family ties are essential and interactions are very effective. For example, a grandfather who tells his grandchildren about his childhood memories will be delighted to see them entertained by details that were perfectly common in his time. This will encourage him to dig into his memory to find buried pieces of life that he thought he had completely forgotten.

Contact with animals often causes spectacular reactions. All our senses are awakened when we come into contact with animals. We see them, touch them, smell them, hear them and this inevitably causes a very powerful revival of our memories. Many programs with animals are carried out in retirement homes and the effect on residents is spectacular.

Finding adapted programs to stimulate and promote reminiscing is essential. It allows you to find elements that are common to people of your generation. It is also interactive and you can add your own childhood photos. 

More and more, tablets are used with senior to help them connect with other family members, friends and closed ones. Tablets are a great tool to help them stay in touch with younger generation all while training cognitive functions that can be diminished by age or illnesses.

DYNSEO created a set of brain training apps that are available on Android and Apple devices, for adults and seniors wishing to train their memory while having fun. 

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As mentioned earlier, the power of reminiscing is to talk about past events and share them with others. When you reminisce, you draw on your autobiographical memory, which includes both general knowledge about the past – your character traits, your interests, the names of people around you – and a range of perceptual and sensory details (images, feelings, smells, sensations, perceptions…).

 

Here are some games you can use to start conversations with your loved ones

Some games can be about something about us and our personality, but it can also be about something we can do or have done in the past.

Granny Cooks

In this game, you have to find the ingredients of a recipe. Everyone knows recipes or has already cooked a dish, which is great because you can share your own twist to your lasagna recipe, or meat loaf recipe…

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One thing that is also very important when talking about reminiscing is being able to put memories back in their context, which is helpful in order to have more coherent and accurate memories. 

A Card A Date

In this game, the person has to put a series of events in chronological order.

We can try to find the context in which the event occured in order to place it on our mental chronological timeline (think about what class you were in when there was a certain president, for example).

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The ability to create mental representations is very useful as well because it allows us to have more information about the events and share them more easily with others.

Geography

In this game, you have to find a country or a State (US) on the map.

To find the right position you have to create a mental image. We can refer to our experiences of a trip we have made, for example.

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Finally, memories don’t always come to us as if watching a movie, people usually remember events thanks to the smells, tastes, sounds and feelings surrounding them. These information enhance our experience, and make for a better story to tell when remembering events from our past.

The Musical Ear

In this game, the person has to recognize a sound, an animal, an instrument or a song.

Of course, to play this game we use our general knowledge because a sound can bring out a specific memory which makes it easier to recognize.

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Discover our brain training programs, SCARLETT and CLINT now!

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