The power of memories.

Saturday September 19, 2015

We know how debilitating painful memories can be, and for many people memories of past traumas take years to deal with. I suspect that we often become "experts" in reliving painful memories in all their gory details.

Lying awake in the early hours of the morning tortured by such memories I have been grappling with how to deal with them. Add to that the present daily struggle of living with one severely depressed offspring and with darling hubby who suffers regular black moods and you will understand the sleeplessness – which as we all know impacts on our own moods and can adversely affect the quality of daily life.

So, how to deal with it all?

Much is written these days about mindfulness, which I have yet to achieve. So my current strategy is to harvest the positive memories. Unable to sleep a few days ago, despite all the usual tricks (drink of water, reading, listening to soothing music, relaxation breathing exercises etc. etc.) I finally opted for reliving moments from our recent holiday.

I took myself back to the lake we had canoed on, and pictured the trip from start to finish; I remembered getting into the canoe, how it wobbled as I got in, the way the paddle felt in my hands and the sound it made through the water; the cows coming down to drink at the lake and how they watched us glide by; the way the canoe drifted gently along; so peacefully; the feel of the sun on my face; the water trickling down my arms... and I could feel the tension and anxiety leaving me, my face relaxing into a smile and I drifted off to sleep.

It's like looking at a mental photo album or video clip (which in themselves can be great mood lifters).

So, I invite you to harvest a positive memory today; recreate the scene from the beginning;

What can you see? A mountain? A lake? A woodland clearing? A roaring log fire? What can you hear? The sound of water? The sound of children playing? Birds singing? Waves rolling the shingle up and down the beach? The crackling of logs? What can you feel? The sun on your face? The wind in your hair? Warm and cosy?


A Moodscope member.

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