Far too often, I write and talk about how to recover from the trauma you’ve experienced, those moments in your past that left a lasting, painful and limiting impression in your psyche. It seems we remember all of that all too well.
However, I know how resilient we are as human beings and as we recover, we also need to experience good times, happy moments and hold onto them.
And sometimes, its as if those good moments dissolve into the air, seemingly not having the staying power of trauma and unhappiness. And there’s a simple explanation for that, a. we have a built in negativity bias and b. we attach strong emotions automatically when harmed and left hurting.
Let’s focus on those good times today and we all have those moments, when something good happens and it feels perfect in the moment and then we’re disappointed when we go back to relive it, the spark that made it feel amazing is gone.
Fun times, adventures full of excitement, they go so fast they’re usually over in the blink of an eye when the miserable torturous events seem to last forever.
However, its also possible to use my neuroscience and self hypnosis tools to enhance your joy filled moments of life. To make them last longer and feel brighter, like a photo reel with added emotional benefits.
We often say at those amazing moments, such as a wedding, or a christening or when you’ve achieved some hard won goal, ‘ I’ll remember this forever,’ and yet the memory fades, a detail here or there, little by little every time you bring it forward in your mind to reminisce, it gets harder to see all of it and feel how you felt when in that moment of wonder and joy.
Thankfully, there is a way you make can make those those brilliant, fantastic joyous life moments bigger, last longer and stay clearer in your memory.
Here’s how you take a fabulous, amazing life experience and embed it into your consciousness.
First you enrich the experience with five simple steps.
- Duration. When something good happens, how long do you stay with it? We often don’t give these moments our attention for long enough, usually noticing it for less than 15 seconds. Stay with the experience longer, make it last, wring every drop of enjoyment out of it. When we feel the pleasure for longer than 15 seconds we move the experience from our temporary memory to long term memory. So practice making your good times last longer.
- Intensity. Dial up the sensations you feel, and make sure you’re using every one of your senses. What are you looking at? Fill your mind with the visual experience, the colours, shapes, the images of the people, the landscape, the setting, absorb all of it. Same with what you hear. All the sounds, the quiet, or the noisy, maybe it the sound of someone you love laughing, or water splashing, maybe its the silence of a cathedral or the rush of a wind or the screams of a fun park. What are you smelling and tasting? Describe to yourself the tantalising of your tastebuds, the aromas that bring this experience to vibrant life. And what are you feeling? There’s the sense of touch of course, feel the clothes on your body, the wind blowing past your skin and through your hair? what are the textures of the things around you and more than simple touch, pay attention to the sensations rushing through your body. what does it feel like inside of you? Is it making you tingle? Where in your body are you feeling the rush most? where does it flow from there? Feel the rush of it all and luxuriate in every single part of it.
- Multi Modality. Take the experience out of the purely physical and make it emotionally enriching too. What feelings and emotions are you noticing while you’re in this experience. Stop and name them, identify everything you are feeling as this will embed the experience even deeper into your consciousness. Does the feeling start small and rise to a cresendo and then ebb away? Breathe into it and feel it all, name it all, attach emotion to the experience.
- Personal Relevance. Know why this experience matters to you, what gives it relevance and importance in your life. Build its significance into the emotion, the impact it has on you today as you’re experiencing it and what it means for your future. Imagine looking back and being able to go, ‘yes, that was the moment when …..’
- Absorb. Sit still and quiet and take the time to visualise the experience sinking deep into your body, deep into your mind, deep into your soul. Feel the experience deep in your heart. You might see it as an anchor or a tiny hook embedding deep into your mind, body and soul. Or maybe its like a Polaroid photo melting into your skin.
Start noticing when good things happen around you, for you, to you. Because they do. And savour every one, they’re what gives life its flavour, its piquancy. And the more good things you notice, the more seem to happen for you. A wonderful spiral of joy, happiness and good times.
Life needs to be about more than recovery from trauma, find ways to give your life new meaning, new depth. Fill yourself up with joy, love and satisfaction. Happiness needn’t be fleeting.