Happy memories 101: How to create them.

Hello, darling. Welcome to Gorgeous Life Blog. It is a pleasure to have you. If you are new here, my name is Victoria. I started blogging several years ago and on this blog I talk all things related to modern elegance, personal growth, and living your dream life. Today I’m going to give you my best tips on how to create happy memories.

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Also, I have a feeling that this post is going to be a long one. Memory making is such a delicate and beautiful thing, I wanted to make sure I took my time giving all of my best tips and details with this post. So grab a drink, get cozy, and bookmark this post if you need to come back to it.

How to create happy memories

Every time I hear the song It ain’t me by Kygo and Selena Gomez, It triggers a beautiful memory of the very first time I took my girls to explore a local historic town that I had never been to before.

I can picture it like it was yesterday. I remember the weather, the sights, the sun in my face while I was driving, the cobblestone streets, the view of the river from the top of the hill.

Every time I hear the song and the memory is triggered, I always think about how cool it is that I have somehow programmed those memories in my head.

When I smell the Mr. Bubble Bubble Bath, it reminds me of my childhood. Not any specific memories, but it just brings back the joy of being a child.

When I watch old Disney movies, I’m instantly taken back to the days where my parents used to give me snacks and let me watch a VHS in front of the TV.

Often times I find myself thinking about how certain memories of mine are so incredibly vivid and how they can be triggered in an instant by a song, smell, or food. I honestly thought it was just something that happened randomly, I never tried to figure out how to intentionally program good memories into my head.

Until I came across The Art of Making Memories by Meik Wiking. I’ve been on a massive reading binge lately, and this book basically took all of my sporadic thoughts and put them into one organized, well explained, physical space in the world.

The book basically reinforced all of my thoughts of making memories and I realized that I definitely wasn’t alone. Creating, preserving, and triggering memories is an art. And I want to share some tips on how to master it.

The Importance of making happy memories

I remember many years ago taking my children to the movie theaters to see Inside Out, a Pixar film all about memories.

The movie follows an 11 year old girl named Riley who is in the middle of relocating with her family and is feeling down about the move. 

Meanwhile, inside Riley’s head, we follow 5 different characters, each represents a different emotion. Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust, and Fear. Her emotions work inside of her head storing her memories and sending them to her brain when they want to trigger a certain emotion. There are also core memories, which are the memories from important milestones of Riley’s life. 

Riley’s core memories are directly responsible for powering her personality types. Honestly now that I am writing this all out, I realize how unbelievably complex and deep this movie really is, despite being a movie for children.

The moral of that little story is that we are just like Riley. Our memories are directly related to our personality, our perception of ourselves, and of the world around us. That is why it is very important to focus on creating happy memories that will stick around forever.

"Each happiness of today is a memory for tomorrow" -unknown Click To Tweet

Make it multi-sensory.

My beach memories aren’t simply just comprised of the water itself. There are several things that make up my favorite beach memories.

  • The breeze in my hair
  • the sound of the waves
  • the taste of salt on my lips after a swim
  • the smell of sunscreen
  • the feeling of the hot sun on my shoulders

When you are trying to preserve a memory, include as many sensations as you possibly can. Do your best to remember the smells, tastes, sounds, feelings, of the memory you are trying to preserve.

Often times we are moving so fast in life, and even when we are enjoying something beautiful, we are on our phones trying to take a photo or video to preserve the memory for later, when really we should be focusing on snapping a quick photo, then being as present as you possibly can in that moment.

Make a playlist for happy memories

Whenever I hear the song Yeah by Usher, it triggers incredibly vivid flashbacks from the summer of 2004. I remember walking to the community pool, I remember the lifeguard sitting in her chair, yelling at rowdy children. I remember hanging out with my friends until sunset, so many good memories. The reason is because that song was programmed into my mind during those good times, whenever I want to trigger those memories, I pull up a 2004 playlist and close my eyes.

Making a playlist will help you program memories into your head. The best way to create playlists for memories is to use some songs that you’ve never heard before. If you use songs you have been listening to your whole life, your mind won’t be able to associate that song with a new moment.

The next time you are going on a vacation, make a new playlist with some old songs, as well as songs you’ve never heard before. You can do the same for holiday parties, date nights, honestly anything. Some people even make a new playlist for each season so they have those seasonal memories triggered by that playlist, just like my summer ’04 playlist.

Start a scent collection

Every summer, Bath and Body Works releases a candle called Suntan. If I’m being completely honest, the candle is one of their less than stellar candles. It smells like sunscreen. It doesn’t smell great when it is burning, but if I simply smell the candle when i’m in the store it hits me with so many amazing memories. 

For me, whenever I am applying sunscreen (or had to as a child) it was always to do something fun. Usually a trip to the pool or the beach.

So when I smell the Suntan Candle, it reminds me of swimming, squinting because the sun is in my eyes, and being a kid.

Scent is the strongest tie to memory -Maggie Stiefvater Click To Tweet

Here are a couple of ways to use scent to preserve memories and trigger them later.

Perfume

Wear the same perfume everyday for a couple of months. Be careful to not use it all. Once you’ve almost used it all, put it away into a scent collection. When you smell that perfume in the future, it should trigger memories from the couple of months you were wearing it. 

Keep a scent collection of other smells.

Get some tiny glass bottles from the craft store and fill them with parts of your favorite scents. I have a small bottle filled with the Mr Bubble Bubble Bath because everytime I smell it, it reminds me of being a kid.

I also am looking for sawdust to add to my collection. When I was growing up my father used to cut wood for our fireplace and I would help him stack it in preparation for winther. Ever since then, the smell of a freshly cut tree triggers those memories of helping him. A bottle of sawdust would be a great addition to my scent collection.

If you can save scents, you should!

Outsource your happy memories

With technology being so advanced, outsourcing your memories is easier than ever. Most of us are already outsourcing memories on social media. 

Take photos-but don’t take so many that you are losing your presence in the moment.

Don’t just leave your photos in your phone. Have them printed or put into photo books. I am personally obsessed with Chatbooks. With chatbooks, you can make photo books without all of the stress. I made my first chatbook last year and I’m never going back.

Keep a journal. Many people keep journals when they are traveling or for special events, but you can also keep a journal day to day. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Even if you are just putting things into your notes app in your phone, sharing a sentence or two about your day will help preserve your memories. 

Conclusion

Happy memories are important for our overall mental health and well being. Life is meant to be lived, enjoyed, and loved. Over time, things will fade and change, but memories will last forever. Learning how to create, outsource, preserve, and trigger happy memories, will promote a happy and healthy life.

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