Most likely, everyone has memories that people would like to forget. An alarming incident, an embarrassing situation, humiliation, insults from a loved one - this can be anything. And no matter how you try to forget it, memory resists.
No need to suppress all unpleasant thoughts. There are times when you should think about what went wrong to learn from mistakes and move on. But when the only result of your thoughts is to prolong the pain, you need to get rid of them and move on.
According to recent research, people can program themselves to forget everything intentionally. Here's how to forget what you don’t want to remember.
Forget all the details associated with the memories
To get rid of bad memories, forget about the details associated with them, people, emotions. Details may include smells, sounds, or images associated with an event that you do not want to remember. For example, if you do not want to think about a traumatic event, remove the details associated with it from your head. It could be a song playing in the background, or people who were looking at you at that time.
Do it daily
Suppressing unpleasant memories is difficult. Any thought that is suppressed tends to ricochet. For example, if you want to block the emotions associated with a car accident, your brain is looking for any thought about it to block it. This makes her, so to speak, more affordable. That is, when you do not block it, the thought rushes back, again it does not give you rest. Therefore, you need to block memories daily. You need to regularly push them out of your mind.
Certain images, objects, smells, or places may cause you bad memories. Throw away objects or images that prevent you from forgetting what you don’t want to remember from your head. Avoid places or meetings with people who remind you of your painful past.
Distract your mind
Another strategy you can try is to replace bad memory with something good. If the thought of past failure continues to haunt you, try to think about how you succeeded in something in the past. Do not let bad memories affect your mood. As soon as they flood over you, start thinking about something good.
Associate something positive with a bad memory
Learn to associate negative thoughts with positive ones. This will help you overcome bad feelings. For example, think about your bad moment while enjoying a good movie, or do what makes you happy. A positive association will make your negative memory less painful.
Use the liberation ritual to erase memory
This is a mental exercise, a ritual to free oneself from the negative emotions or memories that have settled in your mind. Write down every detail of the memories you want to forget. Allow yourself to write openly, knowing that no one will read it. Then you need to burn a piece of paper. When you see that paper is engulfed in fire, you mentally free your memory. In addition, you can also tear or chop paper into small pieces, this also helps a lot.
Learn to focus on the present instead of thinking and worrying about your past, which cannot be changed or foreseen in the future. Do not live your day on autopilot. Notice and pay attention to small details, sights, smells and sounds. Regular meditation practice will help you to be attentive and appreciate every moment of life.
Don't sit around
Come up with a new hobby or physical activity. Devote yourself to creativity and take part in arts and crafts. Spend your energy creating something new, or try yourself as a volunteer. You will be constantly busy with business, and you will have less time to spend it thinking about bad memories.
1. Learn Constancy
Only what you do constantly leads to success. And in order to realize this, you need to be aware of every action. “Just count: reading one book every seven days for twenty years is learning about a thousand useful examples from people from around the world,” Greg McKeon writes in Essentialism.
And if you refuse whining and negativity twenty times a day for fifteen years? How many moments of happiness will be more in life? For a hundred thousand.
Talk to someone about it.
Talking with a friend or family member you trust can help. Their advice, opinions, and similar stories can give you a different perspective on things and help you forget what you don’t want to remember.
Following all these tips, you can erase bad memories from your memory and gain complete control over your life.
PDG technique to forget an awkward situation
- Sit down or sit back.
- Be sure to write down the situation that you will study and the level of its intensity on a 10-point scale (0 - minimum, 10 - maximum). So you can track the real effectiveness of this and any other psychotechnics.
- Close your eyes and begin to recall an unpleasant situation, but not just remember and drive in your head, as you usually do. And at the same time, you begin to move the pupils of the eyes left and right.
- Seamlessly one way, then the other. Absolutely not straining your eyes, not trying to get the pupils as left or right as possible.
- The main performance criterion is absolutely smooth eye movements without tension. And no violence against yourself. If you are tired, take a break for a couple of minutes or continue the next time you have time.
- Try not to hold your breath while doing the technique. Of course, everything will not work right away - and remember the situation, and move the pupils, and monitor the breath. But over time, you will succeed, the main thing is to gain at least minimal experience.
- You will be surprised that literally after 3-5 minutes of practice the situation loses its intensity and its importance disappears. If you take a little more time, then the painful situation simply ceases to be remembered.
- Start with the most charged situations in your life that you recall most often. And work through them first. Then work through all the situations, even the most insignificant ones. Thus, you can quickly heal all your past!
In the PDG technique, there is no such thing that you need to do at least as many repetitions in 1 session, otherwise the result will not be fixed or there will be a rollback. The technique is recoilless, you can always continue from the “place” where you finished last time. The minimum or maximum number of cycles with eye movements is not limited.
On this mechanism of eye movement, a whole area of psychotherapy is even built - DPDG therapy or desensitization of experiences with eye movements. Therapy is recommended by WHO for dealing with the effects of traumatic events. Its whole point is that if you come to a DPD therapist, he will ask you to follow his fingers and will move them left and right throughout the session, keeping your attention to a negative situation. That's all.
I told you a modification of this technique, which you can use yourself with no less efficiency. The technique is really very effective. And, most importantly, it’s very simple. Even a child can master it. The plus is that PDG can be done anywhere. On the way to work, in the evening before going to bed, in traffic, anywhere, where you can close your eyes!
How to forget unpleasant memories - video
For those who do not understand anything - below I posted a short video demonstration of this technique.
By the way, anyone familiar with the technique of re-examining Carlos Castaneda, it will be interesting for him to find out that the basis of his re-examination is precisely the PDG technique. Because when you close your eyes and move your head left and right, the pupils of your eyes also move left and right. It was just that Castaneda added to the PDG technique a mystical legend that with each inhalation-exhalation one can regain energy from the past. In fact, the effectiveness of the Castaneda review is based solely on the PDG mechanism :-).
But there are also memories that you can’t forget yourself, no matter how hard you try.
Like a tree, if it starts to dry out, you need the help of a gardener - just like a person, to get out of the maze of his past, you need help outside. This formula was derived by Albert Einstein more than 100 years ago:
It is impossible to solve the problem at the same level at which it arose. You need to get higher than this problem by rising to the next level.
I help to successfully solve such problems at a personal reception in St. Petersburg.
Sincerely, Alexander Yakovlev
2. Do not be afraid to say: “I do not know”
It is sometimes embarrassing to admit that we are not successful or smart enough, so I want to show that we know more than in fact. And instead of saying “I don’t know” and immediately studying the issue, we pretend that “everything is so clear” ... And it’s even worse to say that we don’t know what the future will be. But you do not have to know everything. And fear this ignorance is also not required. The field of ignorance is the most exciting, because it is open space for research. Look boldly there and live as you want.
3. Explore the world
Find someone you trust, and arrange interrogation with a predilection that you should improve in yourself. Listen to a variety of points of view, compare those that seem mutually exclusive. Read books, watch other people's talents, go to a museum, go to a new country, learn new words and languages, expand your horizons and number of hobbies. But look around - how many interesting things!
5. Tune to the desired wave
The Book of the Lazy Guru recommends tracking your feelings and becoming their observer so that they do not interfere with your informed decisions. Listen to your body: you can be confused, tired, surprised, disassembled into cogs, or, conversely, solid and focused. Feel your body and inner world without giving any assessment of what you see. Just do nothing. This is the setting for the desired wave.
7. Become a scanner of your thoughts
If we do not want to litter our cozy home, why do we allow garbage in our heads? Any of your thoughts can be either useful to you or useless. Minor thoughts are mental noise that distracts you from the important. Therefore, when a thought visits you, “scan” it and make your decision about its usefulness. Tell yourself whether it is worth developing it or not, it brings you joy or despondency.
8. Focus on the good
Try to see a ray of hope in any event. For example, instead of complaining about rainy weather, try to see in the rain the source of life for plants and flowers. And if you have to stay late at work, be grateful that you have it and allows you to support your family. Develop the ability to see the good even in the bad.
9. Automate familiar activities
Try to accustom yourself to automatism in carrying out current tasks and duties. Then you will not need to remember them and you will execute them when necessary. For example, train yourself to pay your home bills online. Or enter all birthdays in your smartphone so that it reminds you of them at least a week before the event. Plan dinners with friends, clothes, necessary housework, and so on in a week. The more clearly everything is planned, the less stress you will have to experience.
10. Celebrate small victories
To accustom yourself to celebrate your achievements, you first need to show yourself that you know how to achieve them. Create a table “Reward for achievements”, indicate five of your important achievements. Write about each pair of sentences, indicating what exactly helped you succeed. In the next column, give three of your feelings from these victories. Whenever you lack the determination to accomplish a task or achieve a goal, study this table to inspire yourself to new achievements.
11. Say yes
Arrange yourself a day called "Yes to everything new." Try one day to say everything new only “yes”. Whatever you are offered, agree (of course, if it is reasonable and safe). Was this day more lively for you? Did you feel happier? Have you experienced fear? At the end of the day, write down in your diary everything that you feel.
Based on books The Book of the Lazy Guru, Essentialism, Kiss the Frog, Silence, Magic of the Morning, One Habit of the Week.