It was November 1989 as a group of peers and I walked from school sport to a friends house. She was a fan of Bon Jovi and so was my-unknown-to-me-at-the-time-but-later-to-be-husband, so Bon Jovi it was that played that afternoon. The after school adventure became a significant moment in time because it was the first day my husband and I kissed … three decades ago.
As we sat on the lounge, Bon Jovi’s ‘Lay Your Hands On Me’ played. He inched a little closer and while all the other friends left the room, aware of the chemistry and possibility, one boy remained. Sitting on the same sofa as us.
Was it a tad awkward? Yes.
Has it created a humorous story we still chuckle about? Absolutely!
It wasn’t only a funny and memorable start to our story that was created that day, but became a simple strategy to creating happiness and joy for years to come. After we became closer, my husband and I talked of this moment. Our first kiss would’ve been to this song had our school-mate allowed us some privacy! Still to this day, we are amused by this anecdote and it’s here, the lesson lies.
If you remember teen love, it’s full of exaggerated hormones and heightened emotions. The intensity of the feelings that shot through my body as my husband’s hand skimmed mine anchored with this song, creating a trigger. Just like Pavlov’s dog who was trained to associate food to the ringing of a tuning fork. His trainer repeated the action of ringing the fork as the dog ate, so often the dog eventually salivated at the sound of the tuning fork, even when food was not provided. After associating a powerful and happy emotion with Lay Your Hands On Me (yes the appropriateness of this title is not lost on me) I would then unconsciously recall these feelings on hearing this song. Recalling this story positively for the next thirty years only further enhanced it’s positive impact on my neural pathways.
The same effect occurs with negative emotions. Think a car accident, the smell of a cologne from someone who treated you badly, or a funeral song. These incidences, smells or sounds unconsciously trigger a negative association, often in terms of a feeling or memory. As soon as they’re experienced again, so too is the negative association.
So what can we learn from teen romance, hair bands and young love? We can learn to take back control of our emotions by deliberately linking happiness to sights, sounds, smells and experiences, while diluting and disassociating from those that cause us pain and sorrow.
Your responsibility today is to discover what triggers you, why and if it’s an association you want to strengthen or weaken. You can hear me talk more on this topic by clicking here:
Go ahead and intentionally create joy, happiness and positivity links in your world today!
Until next time, enjoy,