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30. Happy memories

Happy memories to generate joy and happiness

Written by Rachel Green. Director, The Emotional Intelligence Institute. Author of "How to develop emotional resilience and manage your emotions".

Being able to generate positive emotions is all part of being emotionally intelligent.

One of the most successful techniques that I use to generate positive emotions and manage my emotions is to take mental snapshots of myself when I'm radiating self-confidence, joy or happiness.

Then I replay these in my mind.

In this way my happiness and positive emotions expand and become stronger than ever.

It also means that emotions such as anxiety or anger, frustration or resentment, can diminish.

It also becomes a self-fulfilling habit and a great way to develop emotional intelligence and emotional self-management skills.

How to use happy memories to generate joy & happiness

Remember, for a moment, a time when you felt really good about yourself, or happy and content within yourself or felt joy and delight. Recall this time.

You don't have to have been doing anything significant. It might just be that you felt good looking at a flower, brushing your child's hair, finding a present you knew someone would enjoy, cooking a perfect curry, speaking out at a meeting, or smiling at a stranger.

When you have this memory in your mind, pay full attention to:

  • How you felt
  • What you looked like
  • How you moved
  • What you were wearing
  • What you're facial expression was
  • How you were breathing
  • The colours around you
  • What you were doing
  • The sounds around you.

Recall every detail so you get to know this memory in depth, and vividly. Know it really well. Once you know the details then commit to memory this snapshot of yourself radiating joy and happiness.

Then replay this snapshot of confidence. Replay it often. Keep replaying it.

  • Wake up in the morning and replay it.
  • Walk into a meeting and replay it.
  • Replay it as you pick up the phone to call a difficult client.
  • Replay it before you have to discuss a difficult issue with your partner. Replay it while rehearsing to give a speech.
  • Make this snapshot of joy and happiness a habit that inhabits you.

Then add another snapshot to your joy, happiness and positive emotions album. Go through your memory bank and have 2 snapshots, then 3, then 4, then 5. Have ten that you can recall in an instant.

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Success in using happy memories to generate joy & happiness

At a recent course I ran, one of the women reported gaining great results from her snapshots.

The night before the course she attended a speech I gave to 100 women. The next morning, she put up her hand with some excitement. "This morning I did something I would not have done before, and all because I have been rehearsing the snapshots of confidence."

The other women burst into loud applause. Her excitement was catching.

I decided, before the course this morning, I wanted to go to a frock shop and take in an outfit I'd bought for a wedding and have it altered. There were two other things I wanted to do as well. In the past I’d have said to myself, 'You can't do that, you'll be late'. But today I said 'I can do that' and I have. I did all three things and got myself here on time. (It was a 10.00 am start). And now I'm going to look fantastic at the wedding. And all because of the snapshot of happiness and confidence I practised since last night."

She was positively glowing. We all celebrated her big step forward. "Snapshots" is a confidence and positive emotions technique that anyone can use. We discuss it and similar techniques in more depth on our unique emotional resilience DVDs and e-book. I recommend them to you.

Next steps using happy memories to generate joy & happiness

Each time in the future when you feel good about yourself, stop for a moment and deliberately take a snapshot of yourself and the positive emotions you feel.

Notice at this very point:

  • How you are feeling
  • What you are doing
  • What your head position is
  • What you are doing with your hands
  • How you are gesturing
  • How you are sitting or standing
  • What kind of facial expressions you have
  • Where you look with your eyes
  • Where your energy centre is … and so on.

Notice all the details about you now, as you have these positive feelings of joy, happiness, delight, excitement or contentment.

Add this snapshot to your positive emotions album and replay it often.

When you spend your time replaying snapshots of positive emotions, your confidence, resilience and positivity become friends that are with you more and more.

It does not matter what you are doing. All that matters is that you feel good about yourself and can focus on the positive emotions. Once you feel good about yourself remember it. Then replay it often.


And again.

It's such a lovely technique to develop your emotional resilience, emotional intelligence and emotional self-management skills.

What positive memory will you replay?

How high is your emotional intelligence & emotional resilience?

There is so much that you can do to develop your emotional resilience and the E.I. Institute has a number of options to help you:

Worried that you don't have enough emotional resilience and that you need to develop your emotional intelligence more? Our unique, practical, 5-star emotional intelligence coaching package is available for you and includes the opportunity to have your emotional intelligence assessed. Boost your resilience now. Find out more here.

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