How to find happiness when you reflect on the past year

How to find happiness when you reflect on the past year

Via The Greater Good by Kira Newman

In addition to all the gift-giving, holiday cheer, and peppermint lattes, December is also a time of reflection. We bid farewell to one year and welcome in the next, with a song of “Auld Lang Syne”—times gone by.

Reminiscing about the past is a year-end tradition, and it might also be a form of healing: The entire field of reminiscence therapy, for example, looks at how recalling memories can enhance our well-being. And a new study published in the journal Memory sheds light on which types of memories might be most beneficial to us.

Australian researchers recruited over 300 young adults to spend five minutes reflecting on a particular memory, from one of four categories:

  • Problem solving: A time when you successfully dealt with a challenge.
  • Identity: An experience that shaped the person you are today.
  • Bitterness: A negative event involving conflict, disappointment in yourself, or regret.
  • Control group: Any memory that comes to mind.

After thinking about the memory—and the thoughts and feelings surrounding it—participants briefly wrote about who was involved, its outcome and significance, how they felt about themselves when reflecting on it, and what they learned from it…

…keep reading the full and original article HERE