One of the most significant benefits of positively reminiscing about past experiences is that it is an opportunity for elderly to tell the others their meaningful aspects of life events but also help them to reappraise their emotional state (Cook, 1998; Davis, 2004). Bohlmeijer and colleagues (2008) reported that reminiscence significantly improved the overall meaning of life, self-evaluation and social relations of elderly participants.
Also, researchers have investigated the effect of reminiscence therapy on various cognitive, psychological, social, behavioral, and health outcome measures. These include depression, self- esteem, self-concept, self-assessment, self-acceptance, self- change ego integrity, ego strength, mood, anxiety, coping self- efficacy, social problem-solving ability, integration of life events, life satisfaction, physical activities, social behavior, cognitive status, health status, and well-being (Chao et al. 2006; Cook, 1998; Davis, 2004; Hausman, 1981; Havigurst & Glasser, 1972; Lyubomirsky et al. 2006). The Role of Others Reminiscence therapy may not only affect participants, but also their family members and friends. One study investigated the ffect of reminiscence therapy on family coping and found that reminiscence therapy had a positive effect on family coping for elderly subjects and their significant others (Comana et al. , 1998). Participating in reminiscence therapy may potentially increase interaction between subjects and significant others.
Thus, family members and friends of the participants can benefit from reminiscence therapy. This not only increases their self-esteem and connectedness with others, but also strengthens the bonds and relationship in a much deeper understanding, and therefore, have an increase in satisfaction in ife, happiness, and overall well-being. Outcomes of Trait-Level Happiness Happiness is good. Not only that happiness is good, it is good for you.
Compiling evidence suggest that cultivation of positive emotions hold numerous substantive benefits for individuals across several life domains, including social relationships, mental and physical health (Lyubomirsky, King, & Diener, 2005). For example, individuals who are more optimistic tend to be more extraverted and prosocial and use better coping strategies, all of which are conducive to mental well-being (Lyubomirsky et al. , 2005).
A longitudinal valued outcome related to greater levels of life satisfaction (or happiness) is reduced risk of chronic disease (e. . , coronary heart disease) and premature mortality (Boehm, Vie, & Kubzansky, 2012). In addition, researchers have found that people who are happier and more optimistic tend to engage in healthier behaviors (e. g. , exercising, eating well, don’t smoke) that could only be beneficial for their well-being (Boehm et al. , 2012). With all of that said, it is important to consider effective strategies that the elderly adults could use to have the chance and opportunity to ive a fulfilling life until their time is up.
Every person deserves a chance to live, to feel and find happiness. Barriers from Achieving Happiness and Life Satisfaction from Reminiscence One of the largest obstacles to sustainable increases in happiness is hedonic adaptation (Lyubomirsky, 2011). According to Frederick and Loewenstein (1999), hedonic adaptation refers to the psychological process by which people become acquainted with a positive (or negative) stimulus, that the emotional effects of that stimulus (i. e. , love and/or hate) are crippled (or debilitated) over time.
In other words, the rewards f positive reminiscence can dissipate with time and may impact one’s motivation to persist in these activities to pursue happiness (Lyubomirsky, 2011; Sheldon et al. 2012). Explicitly, the most famous finding regarding adaptation is that lottery winners may readjust to their newfound wealth, while falling back to their previous emotional baseline in a lapse (Brickman, Coates, & Janoff-Bulman’s 1978). Indeed, hedonic adaptation is a unique feature in human nature, such that one always returns to their original state.
However, adaptation is necessary to recover from negative experiences. On the contrary, it also appears to impact positive experiences in a much greater note and serves as the ultimate barrier to happiness seekers. This does not necessarily mean that elderly adults who seek happiness are predispose to fail; one manner in which a person can battle adaptation is through “taking a break” in these activities (Quoidbach & Dunn, 2012); thus, frequent practice of the intervention may lose its meaning.
Quoidbach and Dunn (2012) argues that, “giving up something enjoyable may counter hedonic adaptation by renewing the capacity to appreciate it, and therefore increasing happiness. If this were the case, practitioners may want to consider having a variety of strategies to induce positive reminiscence in guiding the elderlies, and/or a wide selection of positive activities to counteract adaptation. Moreover, there is the growing consensus that happiness is strongly influenced by genetics, with a heritability of around . 0 according to twin studies (Diener, Suh, Lucas, & Smith, 1999). These behavioral genetics research suggests that happiness may be characterized by a genetically-determined “set-point,” a stable feature of temperament that appears to be immune to eliberate modification (Lykken & Tellegen, 1996; Tellegen et al. , 1988). In other words, SWB may be the result of a homeostatic process that resists deviations away from preprogrammed baseline (Cummins, 2003).
Different Types of Reminiscence Therapy and/or Interventions Difficulties with adjustment have, therefore, historically been treated as they arise. As mentioned from the previous statements above, there have been several strategies introduced to best fit the elderly individual’s needs. For example, life review therapy can be used as a tool for elderly ndividuals who lack ego integrity, or not fully accepting their past. This strategy may be best suited for those who typically have a lower happiness baseline, or those who have higher levels of depression (Davis, 2004).
Additionally, elderly individuals who may have difficulty in forming narratives use cognitive imagery to help them recollect the pleasant past. On the other hand, the use of memorabilia is more effective in inducing the past in younger adults (Bryant et al. , 2005). For example, a young adult may bring a baseball he caught from the ame he attended with his grandfather to their university dorms to remember the great times he had during that moment. Final Thoughts and Discussion Memory is important.
It possesses some of the most important life events that upholds the identity of elderly individuals. Remembering the past can bring a great deal of satisfaction and understanding for anyone, especially the elderly. When individuals (most notably the elderlies) tend to yield from the struggles and tribulations of life, one can recollect from their past triumphs and commemorate the actions and motions during the process of reliving, unraveling the possible options to get themselves out of the rut.
Accordingly, those lessons from the past are instilled in one’s memory to adapt to change in circumstances, and the highlights of one’s life. Given the simple, inexpensive, and harmless technique positive reminiscence can bring in reducing depressive symptoms in the elderly population, it is worth mentioning that this method ought to be the central focus of their therapy. Most importantly, adaptive traits such as reappraising one’s identity and fully accepting the self are the most robust findings.
With the components of the self fully intact to the individual, this allows one to find satisfaction from their past, the present, and going forward with the future. Furthermore, positive reminiscence gives the elderly an opportunity to tell their stories whilst reassessing their emotions, thoughts, and actions from the past to find acceptance and resolutions from their defeats and failures and to appreciate and savor life’s triumphs. Overall, the process and procedure to execute this positive activity contributes to the elderly adults’ well-being. After all, everyone deserves a chance to live.