How To Find & Connect With Happy Memories From Your Childhood

The journey of life doesn't have to be so hard, as long as you know where to find some peace.

Couple driving on a road roller coaster in background husayno, EpicStockMedia | Canva

Life is the greatest roller coaster ride we will ever take. The ups and downs, the unexpected changes, the twists and turns are all a part of living. The roller coaster ride of life can be miserable and uncomfortable or exciting and rewarding. Our states of mind and body are how we handle these changes. The problems of life do not go away magically. We must consciously work to make our lives more positive and enjoyable and find happiness.


Once, in a workshop, a woman related a story about her Thanksgiving dinner. She had recently suffered a painful and unexpected breakup with a boyfriend. Although she was grieving, she had a strong inner desire to reclaim her sense of self and move forward with her life.

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Here's how to find and re-experience happy memories from your child hood

1. Make a conscious choice

It was interesting to hear her speak about the family meal. As she looked at her extended family seated at the table, she became filled with love and felt the love reflected toward her. She made an immediate conscious choice to stay focused in the moment, to remain loving, and to share love with those around her.

There were inner struggles during the evening because Thanksgiving held poignant memories for her involving her ex-boyfriend. When these memories surfaced, she deliberately chose to put them aside. After the family gathering, she confidently exclaimed, "I won!"

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2. Look in your backyard

Her conscious decision to remain in a positive state of being, coupled with the feelings of love that she felt toward everyone, were the most critical factors in staying focused in the moment. She had triumphed because she did not succumb to feelings of depression and pity. Like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, when she clicked her heels and said, "There's no place like home," she realized that the things she was searching for — strength, love, and happiness — could be found in her "own backyard."


The support and love from our family and friends and the inner strength we develop when we know and accept ourselves are right there.

3. Respond to empower

We will always struggle with dark thoughts and the negative sides of our personalities. Sometimes, there will be unpleasant events in our lives, but we can choose not to let these things invade our sense of self-dignity and worth. We feel empowered when we make conscious choices about how we will respond to difficult situations,

For that moment, we are in charge of our destiny. Nobody ever said that achieving positive states of mind and body was easy, but nobody ever said it was hard. It's a matter of focusing on the positive and self-education.

Positive memory retrieval is the tool that enhances our capacities for happiness and empowers us on our roller coaster journey through life, and reach a positive state of inner and outer harmony.


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4. Heighten your experience of pleasure

This exercise can help you remember and validate positive aspects of your past to emphasize the need to stay more attentive to positive happenings in the present that may precipitate pleasure.

Were there moments in your childhood when you felt especially happy? These moments can be from any age, from earliest memories to young adulthood. When you find a golden memory, savor it. See yourself at that age and experiment with letting different senses reconnect to that happy time.

What was going on at that moment?

What were you feeling inside?


How did your body feel?

Were there any aromas?

How did things look around you?

How were you acting?

What was the weather like?

What was the scenery like?


Were you with anyone?

What was it like to be with that person?

Take the time to enjoy the happy memory. Now, scan your memory and the most recent past to see if you can think of one thing you enjoyed doing in the past week. Let yourself relive the memory of that pleasant time. Again, use all your senses to reconnect you with that wonderful experience.

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Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein is a positive psychologist, a best-selling author, and an award-winning Selfie Filmmaker focusing on coming-of-age issues for girls and women. She is also a noted podcaster. Many of her shows and interviews can be found on YouTube and Vimeo.