Hugs from Grandma

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Our brains naturally notice, focus on and remember the negative (see the Jan 11th tip). However, we don’t have to be helpless victims to our negative brains. We can change our emotions and attitudes by choosing what we focus on. One of my favorite strategies is to remember a time when we felt really loved, safe and happy. As we savor this memory, our body releases chemicals that make us healthier and happier.

My favorite memory for this exercise is to remember back when I was a little kid staying with my Grandma Vi (short for Viola). She is 90 years old in this picture, but when she was younger, she loved to spend time in the kitchen cooking and baking. She would have her radio on, singing and dancing along to the music. I would sit at the table enjoying her fresh bread with homemade jam or her warm cookies. My Grandma was so full of love for all the people in her life but especially for her grandchildren. She would hug me so tight and make a sound like “Mmmm Mmmm” as if she was taking a bite out of her favorite food.

Grandma may be gone but her love lives on in many hearts. Every time I pull up that memory, I feel her hugs and love engulf me. What memory can you dig up that creates such warm feelings? These are the real treasures in life.

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