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Time Travel For Mental Health – Feel Younger, Be Younger
Sometimes – maybe always – feeding the mind is as important to physical fitness as exercising the body. Today, let’s talk about something that will really make you feel young again. It can actually make you physiologically younger, changing your mindset and improving your mental health, a worthy goal.
OK. Here it is, an easy, possibly free, and totally safe way to time travel. No kidding. It’s real, possible, affordable and you can do it. Damn, anyone can do it.
Do something you haven’t done for many years. Do something you did when you were a kid or teenager, something you did often and loved a lot. Here is an example.
I just went swimming. I mean a real swim, over a mile. Yes, I swam a few thousand meters in the Y pool. For me, it’s magic. Why? Well, I grew up on a swim team and during the summer we trained twice a day, morning and evening. So I smelled like chlorine all the time. I guess you could say I stank of chlorine. My eyes were still bloodshot – no glasses back then – and I still had a tanned yet bleached look around me. And, of course, the main part of my pleasure was the fact that when I swam I was surrounded by friends. For a few hours after training, I felt a mild fatigue in my muscles. So that means I felt that feeling most of the time.
Now fast forward many years. And I mean “a lot” because I’m 56 now. If I have a whiff of chlorine, I start to get a sense of those wonderful times, and if I actually go into a pool and swim, it all comes back. I know that I am no longer as fit as then, as tanned as then, as thin as then. I know my friends – well, those friends – aren’t in the pool with me, but still, it’s a delightful reminder of that time. When I step out of the pool, the great feeling, the essence of it, lasts for hours. I feel exactly the same sweet fatigue as 40 years ago. Exactly. It’s like a mood and reality altering drug that is not a drug but a natural, healthy and satisfying experience, and I wish that for everyone.
Now it’s your turn. Can you recreate an enjoyable experience from childhood or adolescence? Most likely you can. Maybe it’s fishing, going dancing, water skiing, snow skiing, playing baseball or soccer, watching a horror movie, playing cards, playing Monopoly, going on a road trip, camping. or have a picnic.
The possibilities are endless, but the point is, you need to think about something you did often during your happiest growing years. Recreate as many as possible, ie smells, clothes, environment, music, friends.
If you played soccer in school, I bet just holding a soccer ball, feeling its weight and texture, and smelling the leather triggers memories and “feel good” hormones. Even the smell of a locker room, as disgusting as it sounds, probably triggers a feeling these days the same way chlorine affects me.
If you fished as a child, then the aroma of the fish can do it, the site of one of those red and white floats, the smell of the lakeshore – yes, there’s a distinct smell when you you stand at the edge of a pond – brings you back. Even opening a tackle box, with the distinct sound and smell, brings back all sorts of memories. Instantly, I’m back on the dock at White Sands Beach, my brother Milt next to me, early in the morning, just the two of us, quietly talking about this and that. Take a pole and throw once. It will feel so good, so familiar, so natural.
Have you played baseball? Take a bat and swing it several times. Oh yeah. I bet your blood pressure will drop immediately as you enjoy the familiar sensations you haven’t felt in so many years.
If you played an instrument in school, buy one. Seriously. My father is 81 now. He played the trumpet and had a dance band when he was in college. A few years ago, my mother gave her a trumpet for Christmas. He is crying. Holding it in his hands and feeling the metal was overwhelming for him. He started playing again after all these years. It’s never too late.
If you had many happy times at the beach as a kid, you need to go back as often as possible. The smell of salt, the cries of the seagulls, the scorching sun on your skin, the smell of Coppertone and the sand, gritty between your toes, will take you back in time to those visits to the beach years ago. .
This time travel is doing something to your brain, something good. I’m not a doctor, so I don’t know exactly what’s going on, but I know it’s a way to feed your soul. I’m sure and certain.
What are you saying ? You do not have the time ? Too many responsibilities? Are the kids keeping you busy?
None of these reasons is sufficient. Remember that you are not doing this just for yourself, although that would be reason enough. you do this for them too, for your loved ones. You’ll be a better friend, a better spouse, and a better parent if you find the time to do things that make you feel good. Such experiences have healing power.
You will be motivated to help your loved ones create similar rewarding experiences, as it will remind you of how precious they were to you. You will find yourself pushed to get out of your hectic life more often to create new memories that you will remember just as fondly twenty years from now.
Copyright – Debbie Sails. All international rights reserved.
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