“One of the best ways to make yourself happy in the present is to recall happy times from the past.”Gretchen Rubin
Recently, one of my siblings informed me that I seem to only remember the happy memories of our past growing up. It’s not that I’m blocking out the not-so-good memories, but instead I choose to focus on the positive ones. I am not alone in this way of thinking and it is worth consideration, if you want to live a more happy and peaceful life.
Here are a few of my observations about how to make and store the fondest memories to help uplift your days:
- Memories get better with age. With time, we start sugarcoating the bad stuff, thinking “well, that didn’t kill me, so maybe it wasn’t so bad!”
- The happiest people are those who hold on to their fondest memories. Also, holding onto good memories will help get you through hard times.
- Memories are the happiest when they involve other people…or even dogs and cats!
- You can create more happy memories, starting today!
How to Evoke Those Best Memories of Your Past
- Go for a coffee with an old friend and reminisce about the “good old days.”
- Look at old photo albums, both online and hard copy, if you have them. Read old diaries and journals.
- Re-read a favorite novel, watch a movie that brought you joy, or listen to music from a happy time in your past.
- Revisit a place where you were happy. I grew up on a hillside forest. Whenever I walk in a pine forest, I immediately think of happy times in my childhood. All summer long we played outside from morning ‘til night, building tree forts and chasing lightening bugs.
- Share your fondest memories with a younger person, e.g. a child, grandchild, niece or nephew.
New Year’s Eve Blessings Jar
Throughout the year I write down all my fondest moments, as they happen, on small pieces of paper. I place these papers in a vessel I call my blessings jar. My husband does this as well.
We read the blessings from the entire year every New Years Eve.
This ritual gives us an opportunity to recall the small bits of harmony and peace we’ve experienced over the past year. Trust me, these small bits add up!
It’s also a wonderful way to start the new year with the expectation of creating an abundance of future blissful moments to be treasured.
Before falling asleep each night I think of three things that made me smile with gratitude during the day.
Even if I’ve had a horrific day, I can always glean three happy memories.
Sometimes it’s as simple as the sweetness of a wild strawberry. Remembering the simplest moments can sometimes bring forth the greatest memories.
This one practice, alone, has helped me become more of an optimist. It has also helped to improve my sleep quality.
I realize not everyone has an endless supply of happy memories. Sometimes it takes a little work to focus your attention to positive thoughts, especially if you tend to be a “glass half empty” person. Also, research has shown it is easier to remember the tragic events in our lives. Ask anyone in the United States what they were doing on 9/11 at the time of the terrorist attack and they will recall every last detail. It’s the same for the assassination of President Kennedy. They remember.
Also, if you have traumatic memories that cause you pain and disrupt your potential for a happy life, please seek the advice of a professional or someone you trust to help you. There is no reason to suffer.
Our well-being can be greatly enhanced by remembering the happy times in our lives. So, get out there, count your blessings and make great memories! Thank you for reading! – Barb, the River Blogger (Btrb)
Feel free to reblog anything I post. I welcome all comments and discussion.
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