The Irishman has used the trip to China for a family holiday and hopes a relaxed approach can bring him success.
"I'm happy with my game," he said. "I'm in a good place and looking forward to the rest of the season and looking forward to playing some good golf and some good results, starting this week hopefully with this trophy. That would be nice.
"I like from a mental standpoint visualising holding the trophy. If I'm in contention I'll visualise myself holding it. I was just picking it up there to help with the weight and feel of it so I can visualise myself with it on Sunday even more.
"So I know what it feels like now holding the Volvo China Open trophy. Hopefully I will on Sunday too. I was probably a bit more delicate when holding the panda even though this is probably more fragile! It was a bit more apprehensive holding the panda."
Harrington will have to overcome an impressive field if he is to get his hands on the trophy again - and defending champion Y E Yang insists he is ready to launch his defence.
"I had a great time last year and now I'm in Chengdu which is the first time for me," he said. "I had dinner with some of my Korean friends last night and we went down town.
"It looks a very big and new city. A lot of bustling. You could fall in love with this city.
"I'm here to defend my title s any golfer should. Thanks to Volvo who continue to support golf around the world and for enabling me to defend my title and come to a very nice city. I'm here for business but also for pleasure."