Happy Memories

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

It's easy to be happy on a sunny day...I got this exercise from Martha Beck’s book Four Day Win and changed it up a little for myself.

  • Make sure you’re feeling in a pretty good mood. Are you hungry? If so, make sure you go eat something a little decadent. It doesn’t have to be a large portion, but right now, go eat something that you have been denying yourself.

  • Make a quick list of your happiest memories. Just get a clean notebook and on the first page write all the happy times in your life. One memory per line, list them out. Keep writing until you can’t think of any more. If you have less than five, you’re probably not in a good enough mood to do this exercise, so try again a different time. Shoot for a list of fifty or so memories.

  • Each day, when you’re feeling most comfortable and happiest, go back to the notebook. Take one page per memory and write out the full memory in as much detail as you can. Use all five senses to write your memories. What did the air smell like? How did his lips taste? What color was the sky? How did it feel against your skin? What music was playing at that moment? Sight and smell are the most powerful memory joggers, so make sure you at least cover those two senses.

  • After a month or so, you will have a book full of happy memories that you can use as a resource when you’re feeling like bingeing. When you can feel a binge coming on, give yourself a few minutes and read through some of your favorite happy memories.

This exercise has been really powerful for me and I have only been doing it for a couple of weeks.

One caveat: I’m a writer, so writing is the way I relate to the world, but there are MANY ways to do this exercise. You can use pictures from the past and create a scrapbook. You can draw your favorite memories and use the pictures to reminisce. You can take film clips that remind you of your favorite memories and make a video of your favorite times of your own life. You can even just go through a box of old belongings and mementos that you have saved over the years.

We humans are so diverse in our abilities, however you can do this Happy Memories exercise is wonderful as long as it works for you.


4 Responses to “Happy Memories”

  1. B Says:

    What a great exercise! I took your advice and bought The Four Day Win. I think it’s pretty good, although I would reccomend reading Intuitive Eating first.

    I’m excited to do this exercise! I love your caveat – very thoughtful. I was thinking about a gratitude exercise/ mother’s day gift today. I think I will send her a big jar and then send her happy memories I have of her- on a postcard, in a letter, a picture etc… It can be the happy memory jar.

    Thanks, Laura for all your good ideas! And helpful links!

    ps: I read another book by Martha Beck called The Breaking Poin and HIGHLY reccomend it.

  2. iportion Says:

    I try to do my food journal as a real journal and try also to write three things I am thankful for. I don’t always remember but adding things but I think remembering helps my out look.

  3. Adrian Rama Says:

    Thanks for the idea to keep me focused I find that in truth it is hardest for me to keep my head in the right place but when I do everything falls into place. When I start with my thinking and do things like this it almost always works out better. Thanks a bunch.

  4. Momma Adrian Says:

    I just wanted to report back about this exercise since I had commented on it before. I have been doing it on and off for a while and I have found that when I do it regularly it is quite effective. Thank you again for the tip and I also wanted to add that I use a small notebook in my purse to keep track of things as they happen so I don’t forget. I found that my list grew much faster when I did this. Hope this helps some of you.

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