Bonfires and Memories
It’s that time of year again. The fifth of November brings back memories for most of us. For me, the smell of fireworks immediately brings back the taste of dark treacle toffee on a foggy and chilly November night about 40 years ago.
Other memories include an absolutely awe-inspiring demonstration of pyrotechnics at the rather anarchic Lewes bonfire celebrations, and the unexpected and rather frightening consequences of a firework being thrown and landing in a box of fireworks (we all had to duck for cover as the whole lot went up at once).
A Powerful Resource
Our memory is a wonderful resource which like any powerful tool can be both used and abused. It allows us to learn new skills and from our past experiences. Sometimes we access our memories consciously, but they can also be automatically invoked from sensory input. Smells, for instance have the ability to take us straight back to childhood memories – partly because the neural pathways from the nose to the emotional part of the brain are short and direct.
How Do You Use Yours?
How do you use your own memory? Do you find yourself frequently reviewing those experiences which were painful and difficult, or those which made you feel good? Negative rumination is known to be a significant factor in Depression – and although when things are going badly for us, it can feel like an automatic response, it is actually something that we can also choose to use more creatively. But sometimes we need reminding of this and even help being able to put it into practice.
If you find yourself constantly going over and over bad stuff then in a sense, your mind is controlling you rather you being in control of your mind. This can be a tough habit to break, but I recommend viewing your mind as a powerful tool at your disposal. If you can’t turn it off when you want to, then you are not using it as well as you might.
Learning From Mistakes
Our memory allows us to learn from our mistakes. Without it, we would probably repeat those actions which did not work out well for us. I hope that bonfire night is not associated with painful memories for you, and that if you chose to celebrate Guy Fawkes, that it is an experience which brings a few “Oooohs!” and “Ahhhhhs!” rather than “Ouches”.
If you need help breaking a habit of remembering only painful memories or getting over a difficult life experience that leave a bad taste, why not call us now to find out how we can help.