Posted in Self Help Tips on 24. Nov, 2010
If you found this article by searching the web for ways to clear yourself of an old bad memory then I’m sure by now you have already read all of the articles suggesting, finding a shoulder to cry on, talking to someone about it, go to counselling. There are so many suggested ways however, the real point of how to get rid of apparent bad memory does not seem to have been covered.
As a full-time therapist I deal with bad memories, or bad phobias on a daily basis. People will come to me and simply ask ” make me stop thinking of this horrible event/time.” it’s almost enough to drive someone crazy, going over and over the events of something which causes you emotional pain, distress, and lots of daily life upheaval. So what is the answer? Well in my opinion, it’s certainly not any pills potions or lotions, it really comes down to one simple piece of knowledge, one simple piece of vital knowledge. It is something so simple that when you discover this wonderful secret about all memories or phobias you will be able to rid yourself and others so quickly and simply, so how does that sound?
As with all secrets, people usually emphasize about how importance it is that no-one else finds out this secret, this one is different, tell as many people as you can about this in fact, you’ll probably even become a therapist in your own right, you’ll find that when you talk to other people who may be suffering from similar problems that they too can quickly begin to understand how the awful process of continually running old unwanted, bad and even fearful memories is not the only way!
So, here it is, the big secret “A memory is only a memory of the last time you remembered it.” okay, so as it’s written several words on the page they don’t seem as if this should have the kudos of the term secret and because the above sentence in so many ways at first, doesn’t make much sense.
So let me explain. I’ll make this simple by adding some dates, these dates are only an indication so that you can gauge timescale and really get to grips with what I’m talking about. January 1st , 2005. while walking the dog, Jane was set upon by three Rottweilers. The Rottweilers barked and caused Jane extreme distress, she stood completely still, frozen in time, unable to move a single limb, the fear for her life took hold. In actual fact, the experienced only lasted for 2 minutes because the owner of the dogs called them back and they returned immediately, however Jane was left stricken and panicked by the very thought of those dogs attacking her.
Ever since that moment Jane has had many flashbacks / bad memories of that event. There are certain times even when she’s driving that she can look across into the park and see dogs running and this instantly takes her back to the time when she was fearful for her life as those dogs surrounded her. However; one thing that Jane does notice is at different times when she recalls this event, depending on where she is or what she’s doing she sometimes feels differently about it. Sometimes less scared, sometimes she can even see the humour that she was scared about three yappy dogs. And at other times it can spark a level of panic that lasts all day.
So why is it, every time Jane thinks about this event the feelings change? The simple answer is, a memory is only a memory of the last time you remembered it!
Every time you rerun the memory, good or bad you are able to add, distort, delete, imagine, or generalise. Therefore, you really are the master of your own destiny, how do you want to feel next time you remember a certain event, person or situation?
Try this little exercise before you delve into anything serious. Grab an event from your past an enjoyable one preferably, perhaps take last Christmas. Remember where you were aware you are sitting, perhaps you are all around a bit dinnertable enjoying a family meal. now what I wanted to do is imagine something that wasn’t actually there; for example; everybody sat round the table wearing pixie hats. that’s right pixie hats. Now should imagine that day almost as it was exceptional sat round the table having lots of fun and everybody’s wearing pixie hats, perhaps was lots of talk around the table as to why you’re having Christmas dinner and wearing such silly hats, you may e-mail to feel a level of humour growing inside right now. spend a few moments on this memory/re-creation of a memory and really build it feel absolutely sure in your very very clear that last Christmas, you are sat around the table eating your Christmas dinner with the family wearing pixie hats.
A memory is only a memory of the last time he remembered it! what you just done, is simply re-written over a memory, now, next time you think of that Christmas period we brought back to the time that you last remembered it, i.e. now! the recreation of Christmas dinner with everybody wearing pixie hats.
You’ve now simply rewritten your memory software, you decided to make a positive change rather than allowing the horrible thoughts and changes to naturally occur which sometimes make the memory worse, the same, or even more confusing. Being able to take charge of your thoughts is really the only way to clear a bad memory. It’s a fallacy to think you can get rid of a bad memory, but what you can do, is re-frame the situation spend a few moments elaborating on some ideas and making the whole event more palatable or even where possible enjoyable.
Have some fun with this and play around, and remember: A memory is only a memory of the last time you remembered it.