Are you looking for a Life story app to store and save your memories?
Without saving and holding onto our memories we leave no legacy of ourselves for our future friends and family.
In this post, we will be looking at the importance of recording your life stories as a way to preserve your memory.
Table of Contents:
- Genetic memory
- Understanding why memories are important to us
- How to begin preserving our memories
- Creating a life story
- The Reliving digital app
If we are going to discuss our future and memories, it’s important for us to consider the past, and the lives that were lived before us.
History is about people.
From ancient civilisations to our modern times, it is the lives and stories of the people that make the history of the world interesting and relatable.
It is the civilisations who recorded their lives, are the ones we know the most about.
We really only have recorded information about the civilisations of the ancient world. Even then our records are typically only from the people who lived in the cites, where the best records of their lives have survived through time. This has given us a tiny snippet of urban life throughout history.
Around 80% of the lives of the ancient world are of the people outside of these civilisations. We can only make assumptions on how they lived. With no record or documentation of their lives their life stories are lost to us forever.
However, it’s the ancient civilisations who recorded their lives that give us insight into historical politics, economics, art, literature, religion, architecture, philosophy, finance and diets (and so much more). All of this because they left traces of their lives behind for us to discover. From those records, we can paint a pretty realistic image of their lives, which we have documented through books, podcasts, documentaries, films and even nursery rhymes!
Understanding human stories from the past give us an immense perspective to reflect on our own lives. It’s a wonderful tool for self-growth, appreciation and humility. We are all part of this existence that is unique but similar at the same time.
Our own Ancestors
What we learn from our own ancestry is important. Capturing their memories and life story help us adapt to our current life. We’ve learned skills, language, history, and more from our ancestors. Although we live in different times we are still able to take aspects of their lives and use it to our benefits. Understanding our own ancestors gives us an enormous sense of inclusion, belonging, and interconnectedness to the world.
And this is a natural part of human nature.
It’s in human nature to preserve memories
It is in-built in us as humans to learn and adapt from our ancestors even on a biological level.
Yes, memory inheritance is a real thing. Our bodies have learned to take certain experiences in our lives, to capture it in our genes to be passed onto our future offspring for survival.
Genetic memory has been defined as:
“A memory present at birth that exists in the absence of sensory experience, and is incorporated into the genome over long spans of time.”
How Genetic Memory works
Through epigenetics, we can study the changes in gene expression that allows us to hold onto the memories of our ancestors.
It is well documented that humans inherit their parent’s genetic make-up. Inherited qualities include learning capacity, skills, strength and brain power. But discussed far less is the ability to inherit your parent’s memories.
It’s not likely that specific memories of everyday life can be recalled, but scientists have found that semantic memories are the most plausible recollection that is genetically inherited. Memories that are long-term, concepts and knowledge of the external world. Even psychologist Carl Jung, spoke of religious beliefs and racial discrimination being genetically inherited.
The most prevalent type of memory passed through genes seems to be through traumatic experiences. Let’s look at some fascinating study examples:
Researchers from Princeton University tested the memory inheritance of roundworms in 2018. The study involved initially training a roundworm to avoid a strain of bacteria.
Amazingly the researchers discovered that the offspring worms had recalled its parent’s memory of avoiding that strain of bacteria, and therefore avoided the bacteria themselves.
There’s deeper scientific background explaining how this works, which involves something called ASI and ASJ neurons in the worm’s brain. It’s a little out of my depth! But the part we found most fascinating about the study was that this genetically inherited memory of avoiding the bacteria carried through four generations of the offspring’s descendants! The great – grand roundworms had the same gene in their ASI neurons.
Researchers at Emory School of Medicine found that stressful and traumatic memories were passed through onto their offspring too. Confirming that certain fears are memorised and are hereditary.
This post named “Fearful memories haunt mouse descendants” paint a terrifying but fascinating picture of the potential of inherited memories.
In this study, mice were taught to fear the smell of acetophenone (a chemical cherry/ almond scent), by giving the mice small electric shocks when the scent was present. The mice quickly learned that this smell meant pain, resulting in them even shuddering in the presence of acetophenone without a shock.
The offspring of these mice, although never subject to the training reacted in the same way around this particular scent. Even the grandchildren, another generation of offspring had the same reaction despite never even having experienced acetophenone in their lives.
Memory inheritance tells us that memories are an intrinsic part of human nature. Our bodies are designed to see us survive. It’s incredible that our survival techniques extend to our emotional and cognitive abilities, as well as our physiological system.
Understanding why memories are important to us
As well as a technique for survival, our memories are what make us who we are. We learn not just from our own, but from the memories of others.
Preserving our memories has a huge range of benefits not just to the self but to future family and the future of mankind too.
Importance of preserving memories for the self
Preserving our memories helps us as individuals in the following ways:
- To see how far we’ve come (relive proud moments, happiness and special times)
- To remember who we are today, and to reflect on who we want to be and what we want to do
- To record your precious moments for our future self
- To trigger our own nostalgia
- To learn from past decisions
- To take it upon ourselves to preserve our own memory and our families. Because who else will?
- To record our lives before our memories fade
Importance of preserving memories for your future family, children, grandchildren, and so on
There is an importance to preserving family stories, history, culture and legacy. Without it, we lose a part of who we are and the opportunity to who we can be.
Preserving our memories help our future families in the following way:
- To carry on family traditions
- To get a sense of belonging
- To understand who they came from and to incorporate that into their own lives
- To establish a core identity
- To teach our families of good and the bad times we survived to give inspiration, courage, admiration and empathy to be a stronger person in their life
- To feel proud of their heritage
- To trigger nostalgia from their childhoods
- To give our families something to relate to for comfort and belonging
- To inspire and remind family of our skills and talents. Talents in which they may have a natural skill
- Children who know about their ancestors show higher levels of emotional well-being
Interestingly, researchers from Emroy University found that children who knew about their relatives and the people who came before them demonstrated a much higher level of emotional well-being.
This fact alone to many is all the justification and motivation you need to pass on your memories for your offspring.
Importance of preserving memories for far-future offspring:
We don’t know what the future holds. But we do know what the past holds. Many scholars and historians who have studied the history of human experiences have realistic foresight of being able to predict future circumstances.
Part of that is because they have seen how it’s been acted out in the past. You may have heard the saying ‘history repeats itself, and to a general degree, this is true. Historians have noticed patterns and trends that demonstrate human’s predictive nature. We live in different times, have different lives, but we can reflect, empathise, learn and discover things about our ancestors that are relevant today.
It’s presumptuous, but realistic to say that it is likely our lineage will feel the same about the knowledge and memories that we leave behind.
Technology has proven it.
With our advanced medical tech today, researchers have used modern MRI scans to confirm the same brain structures that remember the past, also are used for forecasting the future. A study by Szpunar reflected that our brains’ default network to predict the future, relied heavily on processing personal information, spatial navigation and sensory information.
Scholars call this the “Cultural Life Script”. The skeleton that forms the progression of events in life, that a certain culture is likely to contain. Let’s take our cultural life script in the Western world. You go to school, move out of the family home, get a degree, find a job, fall in love, marry, buy a house, have children, retire, have grandchildren and then die. Not all these life expectations are lived but people are aware of them and will generally use it as a framework for their own life story. Predicting the close future is easy with the cultural life script, but with far-future predictions, it gets hard to do right. This is usually because we don’t have the script to give us ideas to form. The cultural life script is helpful but limiting for predicting the future.
How to begin Preserving our memories?
Memory keeping begins with you.
Without you to record your own, friends and family’s memories, it’s not likely to ever get done. It’s important to start with you if you don’t within one or two generations most of your memories will be long forgotten.
You may remember stories told to you by your grandparents about when they were small. And you’re likely to tell your own grandchildren about the life you lived when you were small. Already as you’ll be aware, many of your grandparents and their parents’ memories are forgotten.
- Collect stories
- Collect photos
- Record your ancestry
- Record your genealogy
How photos help our memories:
We can’t remember everything, but it is likely that when you recall many events in your childhood, it’s a photograph which takes you back. The older you get without those photographic reminders, the blurrier the memory in our minds. (If it is even accessible at all).
Looking at a picture will help us remember many visual aspects that are a gateway to our other nostalgic senses. For example, you may be reminded of a certain smell when you see the childhood picture of you at the seaside. It may help you recall the salty smell of the sea. Or even more personally, the rubbery, plastic smell of your jelly beach sandals.
You may have cabinets and draws full of photos, but equally as important is the organising of your photos for you and your family.
Best way to organise your photos
The best way to store your memories through photos is to create your life story.
Creating a life story
Your stories of victory, failures, of poverty and wealth, your upbringing, places you’ve lived, places you’ve worked and your family history, is an intimate and important part of your life legacy to be passed onto your children.
Creating your life story will give you an organised and periodic system in which you can store all your photos in order.
- Your family will appreciate seeing your life and theirs in a periodic order
- They will learn about you and be able to recognise events as they approach them in your life story
- It also enables them to continue adding to your life story with their own
- This strengthens the family heritage and culture, and sense of belonging
- You can add text and words to life stories, it doesn’t all have to be photos
- You can use video, letters, voice recording, geo-tagging and AR technology. – Keepsakes that can be passed on throughout the generations
- You can include your final words, pass over your advice and inspirational stories
Digital Life Story creation
There is no better way to continue the memory inheritance and family life story than to have it digitally stored.
- Digital Memories can be inherited and continued for future generations. There is expansive room to continue adding to it.
- Record your life story on the go: You travel everywhere with your own digital recording device- your mobile phone. We’ve never had it so easy to record our memories in real-time.
- You can sit with your children and grandchildren in years to come and show them your family life story at anyplace and anytime. You won’t have to search the house top to bottom to find a dusty memory book that can get damaged or lost.
- You can use a multi-range of media to create a well-rounded and interesting digital life story to best represent your life. From photos, videos, text, photos, voice recordings, geo-tagging and AR technology.
The Reliving Digital App
Create your own digital life story with Reliving.
Reliving is a digital biography app, where you can easily input in your own words, voice and media to create and preserve your legacy. It’s also been designed with inheritance in mind, passing on this cherished and valuable information to your family.
How the app works
Log into your Reliving account where you can follow an easy, ready-made template to manage your photos and memories from your past and real-time. All of your digital media is stored and can be accessed from the cloud. With easy uploads, you can organise and create a wonderful and rich life story to be proud of.
You can even record your daily journal through the app. Your thoughts and feelings can be expressed. As well as being a powerful tool for mental health, writing in a journal is a great way to reflect, relieve stress, clear your mind and enable you to gather your thoughts.
Writing and recording your life in a journal leaves your family a wonderful gift of being able to access and know what you were all about on a deep and personal level. For more information on journaling and diary writing see our post here.
Sometimes we aren’t satisfied with our life stories. Have we done enough exciting things? Do we have interesting memories? For some people, life throws a lot at them. They have so much to overcome. These make very interesting life stories.
Some are even called lucky through life circumstance. Winning the lottery, or giving birth to wonderfully, healthy triplets!
But for the majority of us, we seem to have pretty casual and possibly bland lives. This is why some people hit a ‘midlife crisis’ or some people create their bucket lists. They are searching for something exciting and fulfilling to add to their lives.
For some people they are left with asking the question, what have I done in my life? Where am I going in life? What do I want to achieve? These questions can come early on, through a life event or they can hit during the midlife crisis stage.
That’s where the Reliving app excels. As well as tracking your life story and daily journaling, Reliving has perfected their journaling to make goal-reaching achievable and realistic.
The reliving goal-setting journal is a great tool to transform you on your journey from A to B. With an easy to use structure that enables you to make large goals and track the progress over a realistic length of time to get to your end goal.
As you may have heard from the infamous book ‘7 Habits of Effective People’ written by Steven Covey, the 7th habit he called ‘Sharpening the Saw’. Which he explains the term derives from a woodcutter who was struggling to cut down a tree after hours of continuous hacking. Then someone suggested he sharpen the saw for the job to be finished quicker. Where the woodcutter replied ‘I don’t have to sharpen it, I have to get the tree down’. It’s a fun story but demonstrates visually how sharpening the saw makes the difference in effective results. And journaling is what Steven Covey uses to combine all his 6 previous habits into an effective person.
Just like the Steven Covey journal which allows you to set goals, monthly and daily targets to make your goal SMART and clear, Reliving use the same techniques and format suggested by Covey. In an easy to use digital platform, you can access and update your daily goal setting on your mobile. Unlike using a traditional journal. Mobile journaling allows you to keep up the process through the ease of use, as we always have it on our person.
See more on goal setting here.
Setting goals and achieving your dreams can make for exciting and wonderful life stories that you can be proud of.
Take charge of your memories, and preserve your life story today.
For more information on how you can get started, get in touch with Reliving here.