The “ah ha!” jar or connecting with the positives in life

It was in December 2015 that I first created for myself an “ah ha!” jar as a way of reminding myself of the wonderful and positive aspects of my life and to balance out the impact of the daily serving of ” bad news” presented by the media.

This idea is derived from current neuroscience research that recognises that positive experiences are like Teflon, they slip away…..whereas negative emotions are like Velcro….. they stick around.

Our brains are wired to focus on the negative aspects of life and these are the ones we remember easily. This is our survival mechanism at play and is part of the brain’s protective make-up. In addition, we forget about 40% of everything that happened to us yesterday.

(I have just learned that squirrels lose up to 50% of the food they hide. It must be genetic!)

On the other hand, celebrating the good things in life, the events, relationships, the wow and ah-ha moments contribute to the joy of living and it is good to train ourselves to hold onto these experiences.

The use of the ah-ha jar was for the purpose of capturing these moments that otherwise may easily have been forgotten. This is a simple mindfulness exercise.

Now every time I experience a moment of “wow or Ah -Ha !” I post myself a note and placed it in the jar.

In this way,I capture the joys of life that would otherwise have been lost and I can revisit the joys anytime I please.

This is how my jar looks in December of every year. There are usually over 100 posts.

As I read through them it is a delight to remember those wonderful ah-ha moments that had slipped away from my awareness.

Very joyful!

Consider this for yourself in 2020.