Memory boxes are a popular activity in my art therapy studio. I always keep a variety of containers around. There is something very appealing about a box when you are working through big feelings. This activity is often used for working with grief and loss. The box may be decorated in memory of an important person or maybe a treasured pet. It is a powerful metaphor: a container for your grief and a repository for all your thoughts, feelings, and memories. It can also serve as physical place to store your memories. Keepsakes and reminders can be tucked away inside. You could write down some of your special memories, or you could write a letter or a poem to your lost loved one, and place it inside the box.
You could also adapt this activity to working with trauma and anxiety. A memory box can be constructed to house memories that you don’t want to be constantly reminded of. If you are troubled by intrusive thoughts or flashbacks, or you are dealing with anxiety, you could build a safe box to contain these feelings. It is not about locking them away, or trying to forget them. It is about acknowledging their presence and creating a safe space for them to sit, as the first step in reducing the amount of space they are taking up in your thoughts. Symbolically creating a place for these thoughts and feelings to go allows you to put them outside of yourself and begin to heal.