We all have them – those horrible memories that make us feel like crawling under the bed to hide from the past. Bad memories can become all-consuming if you don't address the problem head on. Facing the memories and describing them out loud is an effective way to defuse the anxiety they bring. It might take some time, but if you're determined to stop the memories from consuming your mind, you'll find a way.
By Heather Callaghan
If you ever find yourself ruminating on a bad memory, there might be a simple mind trick you could try today.
There are a lot of holistic approaches to dealing with the effects of bad past experiences. For instance, a lot of modalities under the umbrella of naturopathy. And while people report relief from these methods, they do require some personal researching to find the best method, some time and some money.
And maybe all those self-help books promising positive thoughts left you down. Maybe the Power of Now didn't keep you from meandering back to the past. Maybe it doesn't work just to tell yourself calm down!
Yet researchers think they have found a way to take care of the issue for free…and right now.
Researchers at the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois, led by psychology professor Florin Dolcos (above, right) of the Cognitive Neuroscience Group, studied the behavioral …
But we found that instead of thinking about your emotions during a negative memory, looking away from the worst emotions and thinking about the context, like a friend who was there, what the weather was like, or anything else non-emotional that was part of the memory, will rather effortlessly take your mind away from the unwanted emotions associated with that memory.
The joy of living is unfortunately (but necessarily) often tempered by suffering. At times, the joy outweighs the suffering, but at other times, as much as we'd like to avoid it, the suffering outweighs the joy. These unpleasant experiences can leave persistent, intrusive memories in their wake. Understanding the healing power of letting go of your past can help you cope with these painful memories and eventually move on to (hopefully) greater joys.
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