How to create memories to feel happier

March 04th 2020

Some memories we want to keep and have readily accessible. Here is a really simple way of creating a memory that will bring back happy feelings any time you need them.


Recently, I put one of my favourite techniques into play – creating a memory that will always lead to me feeling good.

We were at Buckingham Palace where my husband was picking up a CB award. We stood in the place where you see all of the Royal carriages stop for the Royals to enter the Palace. We walked up the stairs that Kings, Queens, Prime Ministers, Presidents have all walked. We wandered down a corridor lined with portraits of Queen Victoria. We sat in the Ballroom – last used to host Mr Trump for dinner! It was a bit overwhelming!

However, I wanted to capture that moment as I wondered if I would ever have this experience again.

I closed my eyes and listened. There was a string quartet playing and until that point had just been background noise.  Now I really listened.  I tuned into my sense of smell – and it is amazing how when you do that, you pick up on scents that had always been around, but you hadn’t noticed them until you noticed them.

I tuned into my kinaesthetic sense: noticed how my new dress felt against my skin, how my new shoes  felt (and moved on from that quite quickly – ouch!), how the chair felt beneath me, and how I was feeling inside.  Each of these little things, adding to the memory.

And then I opened my eyes and  looked around and really looked – at the pictures, the ornate decoration, the carpet, the uniform of Prince William….I spotted all the cameras that up until then I hadn’t noticed.  I noticed the earrings of the lady a couple of rows in front of me.  I really saw the pattern on the carpet.

Every memory is made up of input from a sense – so the more senses you evoke, the stronger that memory becomes and the easier it will be triggered again. And now anytime I close my eyes and trigger that memory, I can take myself back there and enjoy that moment again, and again, and again!

Triggers happen all the time; picking up the smell of an aftershave can take you back to a memory of an old boyfriend.  Hearing a song can take you straight back to a teenage memory.  All of these often happening because there were strong emotions around at the time. By actively tuning into the senses, it not only heightens the experience (and therefore strengthening the emotions) but also provides more triggers that we can use to take us back to that memory any time we feel – or even have them spontaneously triggered when you hear that tune, smell that smell….

And then there is the magic bit – the mind cannot tell the difference between reality and imagination.  Therefore, whether physically sitting in Buck’ Palace or imagining being there, the brain delivers the same chemical reactions and thus the same feeling.

It is now there for me to enjoy whenever I need to; that may be to pick myself up from a fall, or at those time when the grey clouds descend – which we all experience at some time! But the way out is to look for the sun and this ray will always burn through those clouds!

You will have such memories stored away already but this little technique can add to that catalogue tremendously – and easily.  It takes just a few seconds to create a memory that will last a lifetime!

Do you have a memory that does this for you I wonder?? If so, I'd love to hear it...

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