Hey! Long time no write… so here goes a nice treat.
Have you ever been or are you currently haunted by a memory of a past event? Remember, if you will, what happens in the movies when a person gets a flashback and re-lives a traumatic memory… Do you know why Hollywood represents those memories in such a way?
Think of a memory that you would rather forget. We all have them… It doesn’t necessarily have to be the worst memory you have from your past, but if that’s what you’re choosing to work with that is okay as well. When you remember that memory now you may find that the images your brain is providing are vivid, emotionally charged, detailed, colorful, sharp, and they can be short movie clips or still images. Furthermore, you are probably personally involved in that memory as if you were seeing it from your own perspective as opposed to being an observer, outside of yourself.
Most people deal with bad situations in a way that is not conducive to their feeling better. As counter-productive as this approach is, people generally focus on that problem or memory to the point where it consumes their thoughts and becomes stronger. As the saying goes, “what you focus on expands” or “what you think about becomes your reality” - However you’ve heard that phrase in one of its many shapes, the meaning is only one.
Easy to say, hard to accomplish?
I’m also willing to bet that when talking about this bad memory with someone you trust, your well meaning “counselor” has said things to you that resemble the following: “What you need to do is distract yourself and don’t think about it anymore” and you know what, that person is absolutely correct and no matter how hard you try you can’t seem to distract your mind. Easier said than done. Here’s a proven formula for eliminating or at least drastically fading those hunting memories.
We know that the bad memory we’re working with has certain qualities to it. What we’ll be doing next is switching those “sub-modalities” (qualities) into new qualities that are not so emotionally distressing. So here’s the exercise for this particular memory. Later on you can work on other memories separately.
- Bring that memory clearly into your mind and take note of the details. Make a list with the following terms on it and beside them describe your experience: Color, Sharpness, Size, Location, Brightness, Is it a still or a video, Are you part of the memory or an outsider? - What are the feelings attached to this memory and can you remember all the details such as smells, sounds, etc.
- Figure out which of these qualities provoke an emotional response for you. To do this, see the memory and switch the quality to its opposite. For example if the memory is in color, turn it into a black and white and so on. Take note of the difference in your feelings that the changes evoke and note which of those changes bring back the strongest feelings.
- Transform this memory into the complete opposite and notice the changes in your feelings about that memory. There are some qualities that may not apply to your particular image. However, the objective is to end up with a memory that is:
- Dissociated: Meaning that you are NOT part of the memory but rather an outsider looking at that memory
- Faded:Most likely the bad image was sharp. Turn it into a faded, de-focused image
- B&W: Most likely the bad image was color. Turn it into black and white
- Small: View the new image as a small spec in the distance. Almost hard to see it
- Dim: Turn a bright bad image into a very dim, almost too dark to see image
- Not emotionally charged:Fade the smells, sounds, feelings of that image down as much as possible until they are almost imperceptible
- As a finishing touch, place a funny looking frame around that faded, b&w, dark, far away image. Maybe make it seem like an old time photo from the west or anything else that may bring a smile to your face
- Everytime from this point forward that your “bad image” comes to mind quickly run through this process and as fast as you can push that memory out into the distance and change its qualities. It does not control you anymore. You control it. After a few incidents it will automatically come up as the faded image whenever it comes to mind. It may even happen on the first try and stay that way. If you really concentrate and methodically follow this procedure, your chances of success are very high.
- The last step to this technique is to test your progress. Bring that new memory to your mind now and pay close attention to your feelings about it. Have they diminished or maybe even neutralized? If so, congratulations! You’ve just changed your mind… If not, work a little more on the submodalities when you’re done with this article so you’re not distracted by what you’re reading. Find those qualities that affect your emotions about the memory the most and play with them until your feelings are lightest about the memory. The resulting image should be the new image for you to work with.
- In the days, weeks and months to come you can run through this exercise as necessary. Keep in mind that you may not need to do it anymore if the memory is now a manageable normal memory rather than a painful or uncomfortable memory. You may even imagine yourself a year from today having completely changed that memory and not letting it affect you in any way anymore and looking back on today as the day you made that positive change and learned this powerful technique!
In the next few posts I will reveal other life enhancing techniques. Stay tunned! – Better yet, sign up for my blog updates below! See you soon!