How to use your favourite memories to feel positive

As the weather gets colder and the sky gets greyer, it’s easy to feel a little down. One way to combat this seasonal sadness is to draw upon your favourite memories and the people who you love the most.

Psychologist Dr Leslie Becker-Phelps says that consciously reflecting on the quality relationships in your life increases their healing power and helps to ground you in positivity.

Here are three ways you can actively reflect upon the most positive times and people in your life, that you can draw upon to help you when things get tough.

Picture Perfect
How much does your physical environment reflect your favourite memories and happiest self? Studies have shown that the state of your home and environment impacts your mental well-being. Do a simple check. The next time you walk through your door, take note of how many things actively bring you joy or have positive memories associated with them. If the answer is not many, it may be time to do some decorating. Go through old photo collections and reach out to family and friends to share their pictures with you. If you have digital photos, retailers like Officeworks, Big W and Kmart have affordable and professional looking printing options so your favourite memories can decorate your walls, your shelves … and even your mugs.

Share a cuppa
If you have a close friend or loved one with whom you share treasured memories, don’t reflect on them alone. Give them a call or invite them over for a cuppa. Then lean back and enjoy the company of loved ones while making new memories as you reflect on old ones.

Memory box
Not everything precious is made to be on display. Some memorabilia and pictures may feel too personal to have displayed on your walls as a reminder, but you can consciously reflect on them in more personal ways. Making a memory box allows you to gather important memorabilia, symbols, letters and pictures in one place. This may be especially useful if the memories you are cherishing are shared with someone who is no longer with you.

Dr Leslie Becker-Phelps recommends finding or making a box that is beautiful or special in some way, something worthy of holding and which pays respect to the memories inside. You may want to celebrate many relationships in this process or just one.

Begin by finding objects that are associated with this relationship. Hold the object before placing it in the box and allow yourself to reflect on what it means to you, and to connect to the positive memories it evokes. Repeat this for each item you choose to include. When you feel that your box is complete, place it in a safe and accessible place. Let it act as a reminder of your positive memories and your most valuable relationships. Visit and revisit these memories when you feel the need.

If you have no solid memorabilia associated with the important people in your life, make some. This can be as simple as picking up a notepad and pen, and describing a memory, while also reflecting on your feelings and thoughts.

Do you revisit important memories and relationships to make yourself feel more positive?

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Written by Liv Gardiner


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