The Art of Making Memories: How to Create and Remember Happy Moments is a new book by Meik Wiking, who you might know from his previous books on the Danish concepts of hygge and lykke. He’s the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen and has been described as “the world’s happiest man”. I’m always trying to be more positive about life so I was interested to read this and pick up some tips.
So what are memories made of? Why is it that a piece of music, a smell, a taste, can take us back to something we had forgotten? And how can we learn to create happy memories and be better at holding on to them?
It’s no surprise to learn that remembering happy memories makes us happier. The book includes some great advice and tips on how we can use their research to create more memorable moments and keep from forgetting the good times in our lives. It’s very easy to put a kawaii twist on these tips too so here’s some I’ve come up with.
Diaries & Journals
The older I get, the more grateful I am for my blogs, diaries and Flickr account that act as a record of my life that I can look back on. It’s so easy to dwell on bad memories and forget your achievements – and never too late to start saving happy moments, however small, for your future self.
Now is a great time, with mid-year diaries on sale at shops like Paperchase (UK) who also have some really fun journals to help you structure your thoughts. If you’re new to journaling, prompts like the Summer challenge Natasja wrote about recently are a great way to get started.
Objects & Collections
The book tells us that it’s easier to remember things if you have a physical object to look at. I like to bring home things from my travels to display alongside gifts and mementos in my type drawer of tiny things. It makes a cute display in my home and a great talking point – picking up the objects and telling people the stories behind them keeps those memories fresh for me. If you’d like to start one, I wrote a post on How To Make A Kawaii Display Shelf a few years ago.
Kawaii-style journaling or scrapbooking is another great way to store visual memories. Save things like ticket stubs and leaflets to place alongside drawings, photos and text to remember all the details of special days.
Photos & Albums
I hadn’t thought about this before but social media really is terrible for memories because we only share the most perfect photos. All those other silly, out of focus, unimportant photos go off into the cloud and you probably never look at them again. But they’re the ones that have little moments, objects and people that you might forget. When you look at old photo albums, it’s always things like the outfits, interior design, beloved old toys etc. that bring back vivid memories.
The author suggests using the Christmas/New Year holidays to look back through all your photos from the year and making a print photo album of your favourites using a site like Blurb or Chatbooks. Another option would be to buy a photo printer or instant camera so you can create photo albums as you go. Instax cameras are really popular and have lots of fun accessories like film with kawaii borders, photo displays and fridge magnets. Have a look on Amazon (UK / USA).
I’ll leave you with my favourite quote from the book. I hope this has given you some ideas on saving happy memories for your future self. I really recommend buying the book if this is a subject that interests you as it has a lot of more personal tips for creating and storing happy memories.
I received a digital review copy of this book from Netgalley but all words and opinions are my own.