Reminiscing is a form of gratitude


Thinking about how we have less than a month until the end of the school year comes with mixed emotions. And to be honest, those emotions have taken over a majority of my life recently.

Over spring break, I was an emotional wreck. I’d cry myself to sleep and wake up the next morning feeling even more exhausted. My eyes were swollen and it was unbearable to keep them open. So much change was happening. Thoughts of graduating, moving houses, packing up and going to college and more were filling my mind with huge amounts of anxiety.

But in every emotional spiral, the root of it all comes out eventually. I was, in a way, mourning my childhood. I found myself smiling at the end of my crying session, feeling grateful for all of the good memories. Mourning turned into reminiscing, and I believe it’s one of the strongest forms of gratitude.

Yes, I’m tired of hearing the word “gratitude” too. It’s been so popularized in the media that it makes me feel like a horrible person if I don’t participate in it. So, here’s my way of doing so.

Reminiscing, according to, is the act of recalling past experiences or events, especially with pleasure or nostalgia. I think that we all unintentionally do this. Whether it be recalling funny moments after the family vacation or chatting it up with a childhood friend. It’s simply everywhere.

But, what if we became more intentional about reminiscing?

I do, in fact, have a gratitude journal. At one point, I made it my whole personality, which I learned made me hate it. But, I did find something I loved about it. Its prompts consisted of questions that had me recall happy memories. These memories can stem from the most recent ones to those that occurred in early childhood.

Some examples from my gratitude journal are: “Who is one of your closest friends? Write down all the things you love about them, including some of the good memories you have with them.” “What is something you love to celebrate? What originally sparked this joy?”

I went into these prompts thinking that I would write something down and get it over with, but to my surprise, my heart felt so full after writing. When I initially thought about reminiscing, I thought of elderly people who were near the end of their life, but I learned that they do it to pass away with a feeling of purpose and satisfaction.

Why do we feel the need to wait until we’re old to do this? Reminiscing is like a breath of fresh air. So, let’s intentionally incorporate it into our everyday lives starting now. There are also many benefits. According to South Dakota State University, reminiscing improves self identity as well as protecting against depression and loneliness.

The methods that I’m about to list may seem old fashioned and cheesy, but trust me, they’re worth it. I, personally, like to film videos or write notes to remember a certain memory. I have a video in my phone of my reaction when I found out I was Editor-in-Chief of The Journal. I also have diary entries from key moments in my life. There are ones where I’m in elementary school and I talk about my first crush to ones where I talk about the amazing birthday party I had.

It’s a feeling like no other to explore these time capsules. It’s no wonder why parents make scrapbooks to look back on.
In times of uncertainty and chaos, especially now with the school year coming to an end, reminiscing can become all of our best friends. through whatever transition we’re going through and provide a positive, bittersweet outlook too.