Why is it that when we have a bad moment, we find ourselves digging up all the bad moments from our past and talk about this continuous spiral of doom? But when we have a happy moment, we let it stand alone in the middle of a spotlight and don’t associate past happy moments with it. Is it because we are more inclined to the negative than the positive? Or is it because of the adage, “Misery likes company”?
I read of an idea by a blogger called Gretchen Rubin about keeping a collection of happy memories at hand. You can be creative about how exactly to do that, but the main goal is that it should remind you of happy moments, so it could act as a trigger for your happiness whenever you’re feeling down. And it should be accessible. Traditionally, people have used photo albums a lot to capture happy Kodak moments but the problem is that sometimes families keep them in places where it’s a hassle to retrieve them (because they’re precious and all), so it’s the last thing on your mind when you’re feeling down.
Step number 1 would be to organize your memories. Whether they’re in the form of photographs or restaurant bills or receipts, you can work on a scrapbook or a filebox to keep your happy memories in one place. The problem nowadays is that people have various means of taking digital photographs so their images end up being spread “all over” (on one’s iphone, or tablet, or a parent’s samsung, or they got it through whatsapp….). So it would help to sit down for a few hours every month to organize images in a virtual or physical (accessible) photo album. I personally like making picture collages with happy memories and keeping them within my journal. That way, the collage gives me a visual summary of happy moments. And since my journals are filled with words, the pages that have the collages attached tend to catch my eye immediately when I flip through the journal. And since I always have my journal with me, it happens to be easily accessible.
Others have spread the idea of a “Happiness Jar” on social media sites where they write about happy moments on a small piece of paper and put them in their Happy Jar. These could be surprise gifts they’ve received or things they’ve accomplished or simply “LOL” moments. However you decide to organize your memories, be creative and be you!
Step number 2 would be to use your organized memories for days when you’re feeling down. So let’s say you’re faced with a disappointment and your thoughts immediately start dragging you down the spiral of doom, you can open your filebox or scrapbook or Happy Jar and brighten up your mood. Your happy memories don’t always have to be in the form of pictures. I know people who collect fridge magnets from all the countries they’ve visited. That can act as a visual reminder that in life, there are good days as well as bad days, even if the bad days tend to bunch up together in your mind.