WEEK 35- Happy Memory Building

Equipment Required

PERMAH Element
Positive Emotion and Relationships

Teachers to read and facilitate the following:



Memories are powerful. Our memories actively shape our experiences, our relationships and what we want for our future. We know that we are more likely to remember negative experiences than positives ones due to our negativity bias from our ancestors- by remembering the things that caused us trouble, we were more likely to avoid them and keep ourselves alive. Research has found we can create more positive emotions in our lives by reliving and strengthening our wonderful, happy memories (Fredrickson, 2011). With deliberate effort we can use our good memories to increase our wellbeing.  While reliving the positive memory may feel short and fleeting, it is like putting money in the bank. Positive emotions accrue and help build your emotional, intellectual, social and physical resources. Positive emotions enable a broadened mindset, which seems to be the basis for the discovery of new knowledge, new relationships and new skills- all of which lead to more positive emotions (Kern & McQuaid, 2017). When we remember and savour our positive memories, we increase our positive emotions. These include feelings of gratitude, serenity, fulfillment, joy, wonder, amusement and love. These positive emotions change the way our minds and our bodies work. They change the very nature of who we are, down to our cells (Fredrickson, 2011)—transforming our outlook on life and our ability to face challenges. The science of positive emotions is key to helping people deal with adversity and live a meaningful life (Fredrickson, 2011).

Description of Personal Wellbeing Practice:  Happy Memory Building

  1. Think of a great, feel good memory that you shared with another person.

  2. Relive that memory in your mind. Think about where you were, what you could see, what you could hear, or any smells or tastes you remember.

  3. Think about what the other person was doing and try to remember their face and how they looked and what you thought they may have been feeling.

  4. Think about the best part of the whole memory.

  5. Remember how you felt and spend a few moments feeling all the positive emotions you experienced in that moment.

  6. Next time you see the person share the memory with them. Explain how much you value the memory- tell them what you remember about it so they can enjoy reliving it with you. If it is not possible to talk in person, call or email them. If that person is no longer with us, share this memory with someone else who knew and cared for them.

Main message:


“Positive emotions don’t just make us feel good, they transform our minds, our bodies and our ability to bounce back from hard times.” — Barbara Fredrickson


UPP’s Personal Wellbeing Practices

A Personal Wellbeing Practice (PWP) is an evidenced-based positive psychology intervention, applied in school communities or other educational settings. At UPP, we have tried to make these PWP’s simple, concise and relevant for students and their teachers. The six elements for the Personal Wellbeing Practices are: Positive emotion (P); Engagement (E); Relationships (R); Meaning (M); Accomplishment (A); and, Health (H).

We hope that these evidence-based tools of positive psychology will enhance help people to thrive and live their best life, both within and beyond the school gates.  

For more activities like this (and much more), check out THRIVE Online Lesson Modules for Pastoral Care and Wellbeing.

Unleashing Personal Potential