Have you ever been going about your day just minding your own business, and you smell, see or hear something and immediately you are transported back in time to a place – maybe your school, a holiday destination, or an event in your life.
These moments may also be accompanied by a rush of emotion. This happened to me only recently and I found myself suddenly and unexpectedly filled with joy.
I was in a park, and there was some fencing around a tennis court, you know that steel wire that you so often see. Leading to this was some grass, cut short. The sun was shining, and immediately, I was transported back to a holiday home we used to go to when I was very small, I think I was 4 or 5 the last time we went. I had a distinct recollection of playing next to a putting green with my older brother, near some wire fencing. That unexpected memory made me feel wonderful! Soaking up that moment, I found myself smiling from ear to ear as I continued my walk.
What is happening is that the brain picks up on your sense memory. This memory is programmed into the physical body. Our sense memory is instinctive. It is this bit of our memory that also allows us to tap out a phone number on the telephone number pad, even if we can’t actually remember the number. The body is extraordinary in its ability to remember. Whilst I recall very little of the detail of the memory I have described, it was enough to induce an emotion of joy inside me and a smile on my face.
When I work with individuals, I am very interested in the information provided by the body – it is a great communicator and sits at the heart of many breakthroughs both in business and in life.
If you are interested in learning more about how you might harness your sense memory to help you at work, you might find this simple exercise enjoyable. It gives you a fast track to positive feeling or thought on demand.
- Pick a picture, objects, music or photographs that make you feel immensely happy.
- Display them where you will look at them several times a day – in the case of music, listen to it throughout the day.
- Spend time studying your items in detail. Touch them, smell them, notice how they feel, how they sound.
- As you are enjoying them, place one hand very specifically on your body, (eg: hold onto a thumb or finger, put your hand on your chin, or maybe your sternum, touch your elbow, whatever feels right to you)
Then at any time of day when you feel in need of a boost of resources, put your hand on that place and recall your memory to instantaneously recreate that feeling of happiness.
By tapping into happiness, you will feel good and at the same time, you are stimulating the area of your brain responsible for strategic thinking and problem solving – BOOM! A double whammy.