Feel happier with a Positive Memories Journal
“I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life but life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was.” Ransom Riggs
When I read through my old journals, I notice that I have a tendency to record negative events but fail to write down my positive experiences. This is understandable as I use my journal as a trusted friend where I can download my problems and work through difficult emotions. And sometimes I record negative events or relationships to remind myself to avoid those situations in the future.
But I wondered why I didn’t write down positive events so that I could revisit these. What would happen if I were to record positive memories? Would I start noticing more positivity in my daily life? Would I have more gratitude? Would I feel less stress? Would I be happier? More content? Would they provide comfort at times when life was harder? Would they help to remind me that bad times don’t last forever and that no matter how low I’m feeling, there is always something in day that can provide relief?
When I researched this, I found that recalling positive memories enhances our well-being, reduces our stress response, and enhances our mood. So, my commitment in 2022 is to keep a Positive Memories Journal in which I capture at least one positive memory every week. These could be small moments of wonder or joy or the memories could be large important events. They could incorporate any of the 10 positive emotions as described by Barbara Fredrickson in her book Positivity.
The image in today’s blog post represents my first positive memory of 2022 – watching a fantail flit from branch to branch as I walked home through the town belt after spending the night with my new love. I captured the feeling of the moment in a quickly penned poem (not shown).
Consider creating your own Positive Memories Journal. Choose at least one memory each week and describe it in detail using all your senses (sight, smell, touch, hearing, and taste). Write about how it made you feel. This memory could be captured in prose or poetry. Add collage, photographs or drawings.
Read through your journal at times when you are feeling down. It is a good reminder that no matter what is happening, there are always small moments of light and love, delight and joy.
You might also like How to use positive emotions in your Flourish Journal.