Do you have negative memories? Everyone has bad memories from events, people, and circumstances that might still affect us negatively today. Our memories become movies that we play in our minds at random times of the day. When we replay negative memories it’s like replaying scary or tragic movies in our minds. We might have intense feelings of these memories that can trigger negative thought patterns.
The memory you have about something is only as strong as the last time you remembered it. If you keep remembering something, your neural pathways make it easier for you to remember it again. Some memories we have are so severe it changes our perception of reality and creates phobias, generalizations, prejudice, and even hatred toward others. Some negative memories make us stronger, but many of them make us sad and mentally weak.
RGB and Fade Away
When we think of bad memories, we can see it so vividly, feel it so intensely that our minds perceive it as real. To help get rid of the visuals and emotions we just have to eliminate the color and make the memory black and white. Then we push the picture as far as we can until it disappears. You can replace it with a visual that makes you feel good and in vivid color. Like a picture of yourself being confident and achieving your goal. When you consciously notice your thinking of a bad memory, freeze it, turn it black and white, and push it away from your mind until it fades away and won’t affect you.
The Unicorn Party
Everything we remember in our childhood or past events is only how we became accustomed to the feeling when remembering it. There is one method that works for all of my clients so far. It makes a bad memory not seem so bad. Since we have total freedom of thought, we should have total freedom of how we want to remember something. We have to detach our negative emotions from bad memories because it can affect us in horrible ways. If you hold on to bad feelings of memories, you will more likely have bad feelings of the future. Reoccurring replays of your bad memories will really take up a lot of your energy and drain you in the present moment. That’s why it’s good to get rid of the bad feelings of past memories. It’s hard to get rid of the memory, but you can change how we remember it and how you feel when it randomly shows up in your mind.
Just relax in a place where you’re alone and undisturbed.
1. Choose a negative memory that you want to stop feeling bad about. Pretend you are part of a movie and theirs a director and film crew. Someone slate’s the scene and the director says “Action!”
2. Start rolling from the beginning of the memory before you began to feel bad.
3. Imagine a unicorn just came into the picture and interrupted your interaction.
4. Now let the unicorn jump and let all these fantasy characters like talking bears and jumping bunnies come around and interrupt your memory.
5. Vividly see the characters and everyone is just laughing, including you. Now just picture everyone laughing.
6. Now instead of remembering your negative event, you remember a unicorn’s birthday party!
It should make you laugh. The main point of the unicorn birthday party is to change your feelings about the bad event. Every time you suddenly think of the bad memory, you the unicorn birthday party instead. Your emotional connection to it will eventually become something you can laugh about from now on. This works on many bad memories like being bullied, or making a mistake, or being embarrassed about something. For events that happened and it made you insecure or angry at someone it helps. For things like addiction related, deaths, and some deep relationship issues, serious childhood trauma, abuse and depression, you’ll need more long-term coaching for that. If you want to try this exercise for the first time, it’s good on something not so traumatizing.