Emotional Memory Palace

Recently I came across a study.

It involved depressed individuals making a palace that housed positive memories, and it helped them greatly. It got me thinking. I havent seen anything similar on these forums, wiki, or blog. Could I create a mansion that housed for example, feelings of greatness, superiority, victory? Figure out what memories in my past im proud of, of victories i have had, and place them in the rooms of this mansion. And then, make a throne in the middle of it all, and mentally sit in it when i wanted to feel those things? For example: to build confidence giving a speech, or a job interview. Thoughts?


Absolutely! This is not uncommon.

Edit: This is not unheard of.. I’m sure it isn’t common.

Alright. I just haven’t seen it anywhere in these forums. Well, I’ll make some.

I haven’t seen it on the forums either, but ai read about it long before I had heard of mnemonics or mental athletes. Cant remember where or what it was called by this source, Please let us know how that goes. I might try this myself to quell the nervousness of competition, but first I’ll have to actually be calm sometime so I can have a memory of what that feels like :confused:

I think you are on to something. This could be very very useful. I can’t wait to see how it works out. I’m going to attempt one for confidence as you suggest. and another for gratitude-another area I ignore. Have to select a palace or journey appropriate to the emotion. I am not confident I can dig up enough examples to fill a room. Lol :wink:

The best thing so far for me is this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3f4Fuhdtx4E.
I placed Erik Thomas in my palace, and i can actually see him moving, I can hear HIS voice, instead of me just reciting what he said. That really pumps me up, but its hard to do when there’s distractions, loud people around me.

Nice idea, it’s quite similar to some NLP tricks and anchoring, you can check them out if you are interested in this topic.

I checked it out, and from what I can tell, its mostly to influence other people. Like, you perform an action while saying certain words, or acting a certain way, and then when you do that action again, they feel a certain way. Im not sure how you would use this on yourself. Elaborate please.

You might be interested in these pages:

Thanks admin

Just wanted to add on that lately I’ve been doing a technique I picked up from a friend who isnt into mnemonics, just gets bored often. He imagines doing something, for example building a car. And he does it in huge amounts of detail, your brain usually likes to skip, you grab this and suddenly its inside here. But when you imagine every movement, how would gravity feel like this, how would this work etc, its extremely relaxing and focusing.

Also saw a video of a POW couple days ago, in a movie about happiness from a psychology POV, he did this while trapped for 8 years in a Korean prison. He imagined building the house he would make after getting out. He would lay out the plans perfectly in his mind, would count how many bricks it would take, how many nails etc. Then when he got it perfect, he would change something, like what if this fireplace was moved to this room, how would everything change etc.

One of the posts Josh linked to had something similar. Being focused on walking through some woods. By walking(mentally) through the woods, you’re not trying to get from a to b, you’re focusing on the journey. Moving your feet, how would you step over this, trying to get into as much detail as possible. Its a great technique for me. Its very memorable too.

It also helps me practice visualization skills. Being extremely focused, even trying to hear what it would sound like, stepping on leaves, or hammering a nail…

I like it. I think I might try this.

Interesting idea ! I would suggest to take inspiration from this kind of image to organize your palace (it’s based on a psychological theory on emotion, wikipedia link)

I was struggling to think of what this thread reminded me of and finally it clicked. Check out Mindstore by Jack Black, which follows a similar process for personal development purposes. More of a visualisation method than a mnemonic approach, but perhaps that is not so different anyway…


I tested a method derived by Jose Silva (Silva method), that uses visualitation to overcome stress. It also promises to teach you how to achieve anything you want. I tried to heal my food intolerance by using various visualizing techniques. After 2 weeks of hard vizualition nothing about my food intolerance had changed.
But it did a great job on improving my visualitation skills needed in memory palaces and it certainly helped me feel less stressed. I also tried merging my happy memories into several palaces. “Sitting on a throne and seeing all the happy memories around you” alone won’t be good enough. I discovered that concentrating hard on one specific memory gives me joy, not seeing them all together. But a good viewpoint from the throne helps you to select the best memory for the kind of stress you are having right now (or to give you reasons to be motivated to do something). You can also build paths between the best memories: after living through one memory you can momentally move on to another.

I too was thinking that it is very similar to NLPs anchoring. But I wonder if it could be even more effective, that is assuming you have the time, using a simple trigger for your anchor would be quicker in a pinch. But taking the time to walk though the whole thing in your mind I think would be more powerful.

Emotions are good stimuli to make you believe something. For example I have used memory palaces in such cases:

  1. I never want to go to bycycle marathon any more
  2. HRM’s sun gazing method is a lie
  3. What person am I?

The 1st one holds the memories of fatigue when I participated in 89 km bicycle marathon. Although the ending was happy, the 6 hours of riding and walking in mud just isn’t worth it.

2nd one is holds both my memories and scientific reasearch. The aim is to convince me never to try sun gazing again and if someone states that he/she can live without food/water, then he/she must be lying.

  1. These were the examples where the ideas/opinions are my own and are formed through my own experience. And I wan’t to retain them. But sometimes:

When I want to share some personality traits/ideas/opinions with a real/movie/book character, then I place these ideas into a palace and think that now these are also now my opinions. And I visit it as often as I can. E.g. I have had periods when I wanted to be calculating not-emotional Sherlock Holmes, and when I wanted to be adventorous Bear Grylls. Or I just use this person as an imaginary advisor and companion in palaces (of course, the aim is to be advised all the time (hallucinating?), but this is kind of hard)..

You can mix the personality traits of your favourite heroes, insert these properties to your mind and become a superhero :slight_smile:

Although 1st and 2nd one are effective, the 3rd one (changing your personality permanently) just doesn’t stick (perhaps it’s best so). Sadly when I end visiting these personality palaces then these traits are just gone. E.g. some time later I just thought: How could I really have thought that arduous mind numbing logic of Holmes is a way of living? and I had to visit my palace to get a reminder of the sensations that really thrilled me before about his methods.

Thanks everyone for your contributions.

Very interesting idea r30, becoming other people. I’ve tried it before… Reminds me of this podcast episode.

The idea of emotional memory palaces is indeed very similar to NLP “tricks”, like anchoring. Creating a stable environment while in a stable state so that you can return to it whenever you are in a stressful situation is a very useful and practical skill. Not exactly related to memory techniques, but it’s important.


Note: I’ve actually been working on controlling emotions without any visualization, without any stimulus. I feel it’s way better to do it this way. More independent of your surroundings. Just your body. If you want to try it, start off with stimulus, then notice how your body feels. Replicate that. Replicate your stomach tensing, the contours of your face, your posture, your body language, etc. Start off with one emotion(anger is a good starting place), master it, then move on to another. You will be able to control your emotions, because you will be extremely aware of what you are feeling.

A couple of years ago I was reading Richard Bandler’s, “Get the Life You Want” in order to help draw me out of a depressive episode. The first step in the particular section I was reading was to call to mind a good memory. I was astonished I could not do this, but knew I had many. So during meditation I asked my subconscious to deliver good memories to my conscious mind. In a day or two they started arriving and revisiting them really does help my mood. I think this concept of using a Memory Palace to store good memories for easy recall is a powerful technique indeed for my emotional health and one I intend to use very soon. Thanks for posting the link and all who participated in the discussion.

This forum gets more and more exciting every time I visit. Thank you all for posting your thoughts.