Juggling your daily schedule with other responsibilities can be overwhelming, often leaving you stressed and anxious. Dealing with anxiety may seem impossible, but research reveals that positive memories can alleviate its grip on your mental health. With 40 million adults dealing with anxiety, let's discuss how positive reminiscence can help you cope.
Gratitude Can Be Calming
When you intentionally cultivate gratitude, you shift your focus toward acknowledging and appreciating the positive aspects of your life, both in the past and in the present. This shift in perspective allows you to counteract anxious thinking patterns and find solace in the abundance of positivity surrounding you instead. You can start this by keeping a gratitude journal to harness the power of positive memories and gratitude. When you regularly write down moments, experiences or people you are grateful for, these things solidify in your mind.
They become tangible reminders of positive memories that greatly impact your life. Flipping through the pages of this gratitude journal reinforces the essence of appreciating the blessings in your life. That can help resolve anxiety because of the calming effect on the mind.
Nostalgia Opens Up A Window To Serenity
If you’ve ever longed for the bittersweet memories from the past, you might have experienced nostalgia. Nostalgia often carries positive memories and has a unique ability to transport you into the past. For many people, this makes them feel safe, loved and content. These three three emotional elements can be powerful enough to help nullify the hold anxiety may have on you. Nostalgic memories provide an opportunity to reconnect with your former self. When these nostalgic feelings are of a departed loved one, the mere sight of keepsake gifts can help improve your mood. Years of mental health research has shown that these positive memories are, more often than not, linked to sensory experiences. It's why sound, smell, sight and taste can quickly bring back a memory and a yearning for the past. When the senses are triggered, it immediately releases dopamine into the brain. This neurotransmitter increases sensations in the pleasure and reward parts of the brain. This, in turn, can reduce anxiety levels.
Mindfulness Increases Awareness
While nostalgia makes you embrace the great memories of the past, mindfulness is more focused on embracing the present. It's a conscious and deliberate activity that you must do repeatedly if you want to make it something that just happens naturally and automatically. Integrating positive memories into mindfulness practices can become a powerful tool for managing anxiety and promoting emotional well being. The best way to use mindfulness to resolve anxiety is to intentionally reflect on the positive parts of the present. Anchoring yourself in the present helps shift your attention away from your anxious thoughts, ultimately cultivating peace. There's great power in the mind, but you can discover it only if you’re willing to work at it.
Taking the time to reflect on positive memories can give you the peace of mind you need to navigate the stressful situations that life throws at you. Hopefully, the things we've talked about here will encourage you to focus on your most loved memories whenever you feel anxious, bringing you to a state of peaceful calm.
This is a contributed post.