Health Benefits of writing your life story

There is an increase in people wanting to write their life stories in Australia. The practice is well established in America, Canada and Europe and finally, Australians of all ages are taking the step to document their life story and the rewards are satisfying and significant. It will mean so much to you and your family

Your Life Story in a book will mean so much
Your Life Story will mean so much to your family

There is significant research and evidence to say that writing about aspects of your life is therapeutic. It helps the mind work through events and emotions, gives structure and an opportunity to reframe and re-evaluate decisions and relationships, and can allow perspectives to be reshaped.  It also allows your life to be remembered as you want it remembered for generations to come and your life messages passed on. Your future family will be able to connect with you.

One of the most surprising benefits of storytelling relates to health. Engaging your brain to explore and record your memories is an activity that has multiple positive outcomes. It can bring into focus the positive and negative events of your life, reframe your life journey and increase family communications and understanding.

Writing your life story brings focus

Simple storytelling gives an opportunity to focus the mind and allow the journey of your life to unfold. It will give a perspective that perhaps has been elusive as the journey of life has been lived. It can also give context to complex situations and promote self-belief and understanding. Reflection can lead to alternative insight and promote connections between family and friends.

  • Storytelling will unleash emotions and link experiences of a life long lived. It allows events to be revisited and reframed through insight and retrospect. It is an exhilarating experience that re-establishes self-esteem, skills that may have been forgotten and relevance to culture and surroundings. This has an impact on one’s sense of purpose and identify and can decrease depression, anxiety or isolation.
  • Simple storytelling gives an opportunity to pass along wisdom and life messages to family members and friends. It allows future descendants to connect with someone who has faced challenges and overcome them, lived a life that they can relate to or has similar skills and attributes that mean something.
  • Each person has a unique and firsthand experience of their culture and history. The life story is embedded in their personality, their attitudes, their skills and their experiences. It is important and if not told and recorded, will be lost forever.
  • Establishing a family tradition of writing life stories is a powerful tool for strengthening the family connectivity and unity and valuing the extended family unit. It may become the vine that some may cling to in times of need, or it may be the vine that others will climb as a sign of their appreciation and honour.
Tell your grandchildren your story and show them your photos. They will have so many questions.
Tell your grandchildren your story and show them your photos. They will have so many questions.

Writing your life story will bring a tear

Never have I worked on a life story with a client without emotional or maybe even traumatic memories being revisited. Sometimes it is about loss or missed opportunities or perhaps it is about something so small that it never was discussed but managed to change the direction of your life. I remember an elderly lady cried as she told me about how she cared for her siblings after her mother walked out on the family. She did it so well, the household ran like clockwork and life was manageable. One day a younger sister decided that she would like the job of running the household and dismissed my client and took her role. This changed my client’s life and her emotional health, and she embarked on a life journey that was extremely difficult for a young girl. The client had never told this story before, but here it sat in her written memoir for her family to understand the hidden journey of her life.

There is now significant research around the value of writing your life story and revisiting emotional and traumatic memories and it is found it to be therapeutic and an effective cognitive fitness tool.  The natural tendency is to avoid upsets and suppress thoughts about negative events in our life when our mind is most at peace when thoughts are processed.

Your life story is powerful

Writing our life story is a powerful opportunity to increase understanding and appreciation for the life we have lived and the contributions we have made to society and family

 

Contact us
Contact today

Contact today

Contact Write My Journey and ask for Rose Osborne

m: 0407 487 495

e: info@thewritingshed.com.au

 

 

 

Other reading

https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/the-health-benefits-of-writing-your-life-story

 

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/the-story-of-your-life-and-the-power-of-memoir

 

Why is the chair empty? Be remembered.

Life Story
Mum’s chair is empty

 

Mum’s chair is empty. It no longer is the place where Mum sits waiting for me to ring or to walk through the door.  The chair does not have the same smiling face and caring eyes that once occupied its space and its arms do not reach out to me as it once seemed they did. No-one asks me how I am or what is really happening to me. The chair no longer looks inviting. It is just a chair.

I am so glad I took the time to write Mum’s life stories a few years ago when she was healthy. I tried to capture her spirit, her soul and the wisdom of her life messages as I knew one day, I would need them. Friends try to support me – but it’s not the same. They don’t know me as well as Mum did, and they don’t care as much as Mum did and they don’t love me as much as Mum did.Continue Reading

How to decide if it is memories or just stuff?

how to decide
How to decide if it is memories or just stuff?

Are all the items in your living space sentimental clutter or valuable memories that you simply can’t live without? How to decide if it is memories or just stuff?

As a life writer, this question sneaks its way into every interview I do with clients. ‘I keep nothing, it’s just clutter’ some say, whilst others tell me ‘It’s the memory it brings’.

Memories or Just Stuff

Material possessions are a way of recalling emotions of the past or reconnecting with someone who is connected to that item. Reconnecting with a special memory through a material object can be an amazing experience and leave you joyous and excited. Equally, if it is a sad connection, it can ignite strong negative emotions of hurt, anger or guilt.Continue Reading

Mother’s Day Tribute

Mother’s Day is a reminder to reflect on the wonderful woman who nurtured us and worked tirelessly to make our journey through childhood what it was. Those memories are too precious to be lost and getting them in print is a wonderful way to preserve life messages for generations.

Your life story
Create your legacy. They will want to know

You might find a few hints here to help you with your memory reflection.

  • When reflecting on memories, it is helpful to take a thought and let it flow. In this following excerpt from my personal memoir, the thoughts were triggered holding my mother’s hands in her nursing home. Equally, you could use a photo, an artefact or some other item. 
  • Take the time to sit in the moment. This process may take hours or it could take days or even weeks. It took many weeks for me to sit fully in the moment of the thoughts regarding my mother’s hands.
  • I was able to find historical context and used that to support the story. The historical context also provides insight into the life of a young mother in the 1950’s and young people of future generations may take life messages from the story.

If you would like help with your life story, I am happy to work with you on your memoir. Give me a call Rose 0407 487 495.Continue Reading