imagine you're really upset. You could be mad, sad, whatever; you're just super upset. And someone (maybe you) is telling you "think a happy thought" or "go to your happy place". Turns out that this advice is scientifically sound. Or at least it's been supported through research (the scientific community does NOT like the word 'proven' very much, so watch yourself when you're telling your friends about this awesome information).
According to State Dependent Memory, an event can trigger an emotion and the emotion can trigger other memories associated with that emotion. Let's go back to being upset. You're driving along and someone cuts you off. A small act, yes, but it still upsets you. Feeling upset, you suddenly remember how earlier that day someone at the office ate your lunch. Or you bombed the quiz in class. it's a vicious cycle of upsetting events.
How do you end this cycle, you ask? Well let me tell you!
THINK A HAPPY THOUGHT!
Peter Pan is singing to you right now to think of a wonderful thought (no you won't fly, so don't attempt it. The happy thought will assist your mood).
if you can break the vicious cycle and come up with something good that happened that day (or maybe even last week) then that happy thought can trigger the happy emotions and a glorious cycle of joy will fill your mind. You'll remember the quiz you aced last week, the time you brought the most delectable left-overs to work, the fact you get to go to Joe Bandido's tomorrow, how you're ahead on your reading for class, there's an extra episode of your fave show on Hulu....it'll just continue. And so will the happy mood.
This is one of the secrets to happiness, folks! You're welcome :)