WHY YOU SHOULD EXPLORE THE STORIES OF YOUR LIFE
Why would you want to share details of the events from throughout your life with others?
Our personal life history can be a source of inspiration, connectivity, and knowledge, but you may find it is not easy to talk about yourself. You may not know what to say or how to say it.
Here are a few of the reasons why you should consider exploring and sharing the stories of your life:
Your kids want to know. The decisions you have made in your life have impacted them as well. It would mean so much more for them to know why you have made certain decisions.
Your grandkids will want to know your story. Tell them your version of your story. Your stories will add meaning to their lives as well, but hearing your voice and understanding your perspectives are important.
It will build connection with others, whether your kids, grandkids, or someone else in the family, depending on who you choose to share the project with.
Your story allows family to see you as an individual outside the family context, which furthers connection with others. For your kids, you are no longer just mom or dad who drives them around and tells them what to do, but an individual with your own complex life. You become a real person. For your grandkids, they see what your life was like before they came along.
The older generations can pass on wisdom to the younger generations. Telling your story to your loved ones is a natural impulse. The way our lives are structured these days, with many families overworked and spread far and wide, this is a way to set things down in one place so your family can engage with your story at at time when they are ready.
The older generation can captivate and enlighten the younger generation about the differences in their lives or the things they remember from historical events. Such as what was life like before telephones, cell phones, or the internet, or what do they remember about the day JFK was assassinated or the day of the moon landing?
Research shows there are great benefits of exploring your story on a deeper level:
Personal growth through self-discovery. Making connections you may not have had before about how the events of your life impacted you.
Raises self esteem and lowers depression.
Raises cognitive function for seniors.
Helps you find your voice. By telling your story from your point of view, you empower yourself to own everything - your accomplishments and your mistakes, the good times and the challenging times. This is called finding your voice. That part of you that owns who you are and what it took to make you this way today.
And it is equally beneficial for children to hear family stories:
Kids develop more advanced narrative and emotional skills, which serves them well when they are reading complex material and learning to get along well with others.
Preteens have higher self-esteem and stronger self-concepts when their families collaboratively discuss family events.
Adolescents who have a stronger knowledge of their family history tend to have more robust identities, better coping skills, and lower rates of depression and anxiety.
Want to learn more? Read about how kids benefit when you start sharing family stories early on.
ABOUT THE HISTORY PROJECT
The History Project empowers families to connect artifacts and memories across media to build experiential stories that transcend generations. The History Project offers a set of mobile and online tools to intelligently collect, beautifully curate and delightfully collaborate in building your personal life story. Preserve and relive the memories that matter most through The History Project. For more details visit www.thehistoryproject.com.