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Create your own portable 'Sensory Feel-Good Memories' list

Updated: Aug 22, 2022

When times are dark, or there are a string of things not go as hoped, it can be easy to only see and focus on these things. It doesn't matter how old you are, child or adult, our brains are just wired this way.

In 2020 a good friend invited me to read two amazing, thought-provoking books, Any Ordinary Day by Leigh Sales and then Phosphorescence by Julia Baird. Both books highlight there being light in, or at least after, darkness. They also reminded me how the little, ordinary and extraordinary things can cause a spontaneous smile every time they are remembered. It was whilst reading the second one that I was inspired to compile on my phone what I called my 'phosphorescence list' - those memories that I can't help but smile when I tread and think about them. Whenever I need a 'lift', I look at my list, and of course, I'm continuing to add to it.

Steps to creating your own list

  1. Choose where to make the list - you might like to keep it in a journal or just simply as a list on your phone so it's always with you. It can just be a list or you can add drawings, photos, links or even objects.

  2. The memories can be recent or from childhood.

  3. Use your senses to help remind you of things you might like to include and add them to your list. For example:

    • A view you love

    • Something in your favourite colour

    • A song or music you enjoy hearing; a voice or particular words

    • Something from nature you like the sound of

    • A cooking smell you like

    • A smell from nature you like

    • Something you love the feel of (clothes, soft toy, animal, a particular hug, a natural item...)

    • A wonderful taste, maybe a particular food or drink has a wonderful memory attached.

    • An environment or place


This is a 'no-pressure' list. If you are struggling to think of things, leave it. Chances are, something will pop up when you're not thinking about it.

They can be really ordinary things. in fact, these are often the best moments. For example, whenever I see a tin of Milo, I'm reminded of having 'crunchy', cold Milo at my Nanna's house as a child. This makes me smile.

You are in control of your list. You can add, and remove items whenever you want.

I now have 38 things on my list, but here are 6 of them...

If you would like further support with exploring ways to help you see light in darkness, I invite you to contact me at Natural Growth Childhood Counselling.


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