Record a Video of Yourself When You're Happy to Look at When You're Sad


Illustration for article titled Record a Video of Yourself When You're Happy to Look at When You're Sad
Photo: Dean Drobot (Shutterstock)

The thought of recording a video for your future self sounds silly, evoking thoughts of the third grade, when you were perhaps directed to write a letter to adult you.

But everyone experiences emotional highs and lows–especially during this historic pandemic—so it’s a good thing to be able to remind the future you what it’s like to be happy, even if it involves staring into a camera and addressing yourself by name. Providing a glimpse into a happier past can show you that things can and will get better once more.

That’s why should consider giving yourself a pep-talk on camera, and saving the video for later, darker times. It can be a worthwhile tool to fall back on when life seems bleak and it’s hard to remember otherwise.

Seeing yourself in a better mood is living proof

Depression can overwhelm any notion of a light at the end of the tunnel. If the feelings of drudgery are too overwhelming, looking at yourself in a happier time can provide living proof that the bad times will eventually run their course. An image of yourself, unlike verbal reassurances expressed by a friend, family member, or therapist, can be a powerful balm. It isn’t a vague idea of overcoming an emotional setback, but a real life example of you living in a more joyous time.

This is essentially the same thing as a positive self-talk, albeit one that you gave to yourself in the past, to be saved for future reference. Though it doesn’t come naturally for a lot of people, the benefits of positive thinking and self-talk are numerous. Hearing why you have reasons to be grateful, and why you have things to look forward to, might go even further than hearing it from someone else.

Tell yourself that it will get better

Unless you’re an influencer who’s constantly sitting around in selfie-repose, it might feel awkward to talk into your phone with the camera switched on. So practice it. Try a couple takes to eventually get it right, if you need to.

As you record the message, focus on why it is you’re happy in this moment. Think about things you’re grateful for, and what exactly brought you to this moment in which you’re feeling good. You don’t have to sugarcoat anything—in fact, it’s best to acknowledge that you’re recording this message for a future you who might be struggling. But above all, explain in the video that it’s possible to reclaim happiness, and that, despite the sometimes fluctuating emotional path you have to navigate, things can and will get better.

This video is just insurance—a token for the future that you can forget about until it’s needed. It probably won’t be enough to cure a longstanding bout of depression—there are plenty of professionals to help with that—but hearing reassurances from yourself, in an unencumbered and natural state of happiness, can make a world of difference when you need it.