According to a study at the University of Southampton, celebrating happy memories can be enormously beneficial.
"Nostalgia raises self esteem, which in turn heightens optimism. Memories of the past can help to maintain current feelings of self worth and can contribute to a brighter outlook on the future."
Dr Tim Wildschut, University of Southampton
I know that not all memories are happy ones but when I work with clients, we always acknowledge the hard times and find a way to present them in a way that acknowledges the truth but won't cause distress or family upset when they are put in their life story book. Life is a tapestry of good and bad and the difficult time and the challenges make us who we are and teach us empathy and understanding of others. So often we go through our lives, day to day, without stopping to take stock of all the amazing things we've achieved and the difficulties we have overcome. Writing your life story gives you the chance to celebrate those memories and look back with wisdom at the child, teenager and young adult you once were.
Writing your life story is just a positive thing to do. Everyone wins! The enjoyment of creating your life story is then followed by the delight of family members.