“I want to get rid of my stress right away!”
Many people feel that way, but don’t know how to handle their struggles of daily stress. When negative emotions such as irritation and anxiety are left untreated, they can eventually lead to serious stress reactions in our bodies and minds. In some cases, it can lead to mental illnesses such as depression. As a preventative measure, it’s important to eliminate stress as soon as you feel it.
Let us introduce you to a stress care technique that’s scientifically proven to have positive effects on our mental health. It’s easy to implement. It’s the simple practice of recalling positive memories. Let’s call it the Positive Memory method.
Make Stress Disappear in 14 Seconds
The Positive Memory method was devised by Rutgers University in New Jersey. It’s a technique that is considered to have a quick and strong effect on stress. The steps are very simple. All you have to do is remember happy memories for 14 seconds. In an experiment, this is all it took for the participants for their stress to start lifting off their shoulders.
In addition, experiments showed that the participants’ cortisol levels were suppressed when the Positive Memory method was practiced. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone that secretes when we feel stress. This means that the Positive Memory method not only makes us feel better but has a scientific basis as to why it relieves stress.
The memories you pick during this exercise can be anything given that it’s something that makes you feel good. Success in the workplace, a fun holiday, a compliment from a friend, etc. It can really be anything, as long as it is a positive memory.
Stock Up on Good Memories
It’s not a bad thing to feel stress in our day to day life. The problem occurs when we avoid dealing with the stress and ignore it. It’s normal for the aforementioned hormone, cortisol, to temporarily increase when we feel stress. But if we leave our stress unresolved, it will eventually trigger a big stress response within.
In recent years, there’s been an uptick of interest in mental health. This has lead to many different mental care methods widely available over the internet. Some of these techniques may be difficult for beginners, and many of them require us to spend a lot of money and time. This might put some people off if they believe it’s too difficult to put into practice. On the other hand, all you need for the Positive Memory method is your good memories. You don’t need money or any special techniques. Moreover, it has been scientifically proven to reduce stress in just 14 seconds. It may be hard to come by another stress care method that is as easy and efficient and this one.
It may be difficult to conjure up good memories when we’re feeling strong frustrations and anxieties. To make things easier, keep a strong focus on the positive events that occur on a regular basis and keep a stock of good memories in mind.
・Write down your positive memories in a notebook or diary.
・Keep an item that has a positive memory attached to it, such as a photograph.
By practicing these things on a regular basis, you’ll remember the good memories more strongly and more quickly, even when you’re in a stressful state of mind.
Throw Away the Negative; Turn to the Positive
The positive memory method allows you to alleviate negative emotions in a short amount of time. Give it a try whenever you feel stressed in your daily life.
Having a coping mechanism on hand, such as this Positive Memory method, keeps our mental health in check. This is just one of the many easy stress-care techniques you can try. Figure out what works for you and get into the habit of practicing. One of the keys to living a healthy and happy life is to properly cope with stress.
Megan E. Speer，Mauricio R. Delgado
「Reminiscing about positive memories buffers acute stress responses」（Nat Hum Behav. 2017 May; 1(5): 0093）