Research reveals that happy memories are a sure-fire way to boost our current happiness levels. A friend’s recent post on Facebook brought back a flood of positive memories and feelings for me, and reminded me about the research on the positive connection between the past and the present and our happiness. Reliving positive memories definitely increases our current happiness levels, so why not spend some time this weekend remembering “the good times”?
Find a way to relax and sip a cup of tea, hot chocolate, or a glass of wine, and then simply remember the good times – even if the good times were just last week. Add some background music, photos, books etc., anything that will help you recall all those sweet holiday moments that are hiding beneath the tension and stress of this year’s holiday season.
If you are lucky, lots of moments have already come rushing back, savor and enjoy them!
If you are saying to yourself, “What happy holidays moments?”, don’t worry. Simply close your eyes and imagine a positive holiday scene from a movie or book. Sounds silly, but it works!
Then, if you like, you can extend your journey down-positive-memory lane, by finding a way to work your memories, real or imagined, into this year’s holiday season. If the smell of cookies baking holds sweet memories for you, bake some, even if you just buy and bake a ready-to-go roll from the store. Or visit a bakery and soak in the scents. If decorations are part of your holiday memories, try to find a mini-version of something you remember and love – a pine-scented branch can bring you as much pleasure as a 10 ft Christmas tree and one special ornament can be the perfect substitute for a houseful of decorations, as long as you choose it with intent and care. If ice-skating or tobogganing illicit invigorating memories, but time or resources are short, a walk in the woods or park can bring back all those positive outdoor vibes.
And, if your reservoir of holiday memories is not brimming with blissful moments take a minute or two to create some. Staring up at a starlit sky on a clear winter’s night can work wonders for your mood, and may help you create new memories. Even squinting at Christmas lights can release a flood of positive emotions. Learn to take advantage of each and every moment in the days ahead.
Happy memories and moments are yours for the making.