So often we hear that you shouldn’t live in the past, I absolutely agree with that statement…IF you re-live, through your memory all the negative things that happened…the things that make you say
That’s a very negative way to go through life as your brain cannot differentiate reality from imagination. These memories can be triggered by anything that you have connected to that memory (sound, smell, environment) when you relive these things in your mind, you re-live it through images, your mind thinks that’s your reality and therefore you are also re-living all those negative emotions.
Nostalgia for so long was considered as something that was not good, something that meant that you were living your life through or in the past. Psychologists themselves considered this to be a negative trait and encouraged individuals to live in the present.
Now Nostalgia is seen as something different from Rumination and counterfactual thinking (both of the latter being detrimental to your psychological wellbeing). Although nostalgia can be a feeling of bittersweet longing of those good emotions you felt in that past experience, it has now been discovered that reliving those emotions of happiness is actually good for you in so many ways. Read more about that particular research here.
Why does all of this interest me? Well I am a motivational lifestyle coach for one, but more importantly it resonates with so much of what I have learnt as an NLP practitioner, everything you do, everything you feel, everything you succeed or fail in; it’s all to do with what goes on in that incredible thing that sits between your ears. The book ‘The Secret’ was such a success and I don’t want to knock it as it served a purpose but in my opinion it was somewhat incomplete. Thinking something cannot on its own make things happen, you have to think something, believe it and change your outward behaviours (in a positive way) which in turn will change how you are received, in NLP it is known as ‘Acting as if’ you have you are already where, who, what you want to be and achieve. It will also change the energy you give out and positive energy always attracts positive energy which translates into positive things…phew!!
So think back to times when you were more…whatever it is that made you feel good, a time when you felt happier, sexier, more confident, more able; whatever it was I want you to notice that feeling, hold onto that feeling really step into that moment and see if it changes the way you act and the way you are perceived…I can guarantee it will. The more difficult bit is being able to recall that feeling time and time again until it becomes a constant and natural part of you.
Now I know I may have undermined (unintentionally) in an aim to simplify what is a complex process and knowing how to do these things would take more than a short blog but it’s information that may make you stop and question your thoughts…isn’t it?