(From Blog "The Happiness Project")
There are four stages of reveling in a moment of happiness, as you:-- anticipate with pleasure,-- savor the moment as you experience it,-- express your happiness to yourself or others, and-- reflect on a happy memory. One important way to cultivate #4 is to keep mementos that help you recall happy memories. Here are some tips for using mementos to keep happy memories vivid:
1. BE SELECTIVE. Remember, the more mementos you keep, the less meaningful each one will be. If you frame a wonderful piece of artwork that your son did in kindergarten, you can enjoy it. If you keep every piece of artwork your son did from pre-school through second grade in a huge box in the basement, you’ll never look through it. A few items = precious mementos. A huge mass of objects = overwhelming clutter.
2. Keep a one-sentence journal.
3. Photo albums. Although it’s tempting to keep taking pictures and loading them onto the computer, I still think it’s worth taking the extra, burdensome steps of turning some into actual photographs and pasting them in an album.
4. Transformation. I read about one woman who turned her children’s favorite little toys into Christmas ornaments by using gardening wire, and another woman who made a quilt out of patches taken from all her favorite college t-shirts, and another woman who made decorative bed pillows out of her wedding dress. These transformations are a way to hang on to precious memories in a new way.