The Importance of “Preserving” Positive Feelings
I personally love traveling to places that rejuvenate my body and revitalize my spirit with inspiration, wanderlust, and zest for pursuing my goals and dreams. And what better time for such an expedition to exploration than the end of summer?
In a way, I perceive the fall season as the beginning of the year. And it is such, for all of us that are students (in an academic institution, or in life). I look at the falling leaves and reminisce about everything that has fallen from me in the past four seasons: fears, judgment, limitations…all of those tiny tricksters that snatch our motivation and recycle it into hopelessness and lack of motivation.
In his book Hardwiring Happiness (which I recommend!*), the author Rick Hanson speaks about the neurological pathways that either impede or enhance our sense of contentment, calm, and confidence. A practice he mentions, that stood out for me, is consciously remembering in detail the memories, events, or feelings that made us feel our best. And to rehearse the chosen moment in our mind until it paves a cognitive canal that can, later on, lead us to emotional salvation when we are feeling sad, unmotivated, or discouraged.
For example, imagine the event (or place) in the last six months that made you feel your happiest.
For me, that was being at the Black Sea and swimming in the azure waters while soaking up the sun, eating gooey figs, writing in my journal and listening to the sound of the waves.
Whatever your chosen memory is: close your eyes and track back every moment as vividly as you can. Remember to not only relive it in your mind to also to feel it: paying close attention to the emotions that were produced by that experience… The joy. The laughter. The experience itself. The company you were with. Whatever it is for you. Then, take a few minutes to reflect on how those depicters made you feel.
And, most importantly, why?
I suggest you either do this exercise mentally or, even better, take a journal and free-write. Choose a time in space that made you feel extraordinary and observe closely your thoughts and feelings. Your mind, heart, and body know best why you felt so liberated and happy experiencing those emotions in that particular moment.
The purpose of this practice, as Hanson suggests, is to provide us with mental tools to recreate the palette of positive emotions that already exist in our memory so that we can adhere to their vibrational content to color our current canvass with the same positivity and excitement for life.
I am curious to hear about your happiest memories from last year. If you are willing to share, let`s create a discussion!
Leave your comments below and share this practice with your friends.
~ With love and care,
*If you follow my posts, you might remember I recently mentioned his work in this post here.