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inspiration: remembering happy

inspiration: remembering happy

We are in our 14th year here at MBS and we have no plans of resting yet! Every day we have new jewelry, gifts, crystals and stones, and lots of little surprises as well. Merri and I spend hours looking for and acquiring the best just for you! You fuel our days with your smiles, your stories, and your ever loyal presence and we so appreciate each and every one of you! Thank you from both of us for making Mind Body & Spirit such a success for so many years! We will continue to provide the best we can find for you as long as we are able. Sounds like a win-win for all of us!?

Speaking of win-wins…I was on vacation with my Mom just recently up north at a friend’s cabin and it was wonderful. And I remembered many happy memories with my Mom when I was growing up but not all memories of my childhood are great and those negative ones have a way of creeping in no matter how hard we try to keep them out. Not that this is the case with my mother, as I was thinking about all memories and I got to thinking about something that I believe we all struggle with. So much happens over the years with family and family “stuff” that we all tend to get into the negative much too easily when it comes to family and friends that have found a smaller position in our lives. It is so much easier to bring up those nasty experiences because they have such a hold on us. Are those memories or experiences stronger ones? Essentially no, but it really depends on your definition of stronger. The stronger ones, I feel, are the good ones, the happy ones, the ones filled with love from yesteryears. So why are they harder to extract when we get together with family? (Please keep in mind that when I use the word “family” I do not necessarily mean family of origin or blood relatives….I mean those people who mean a great deal to someone. Those people who want to be a part of your life and who you want in your life. I am not speaking of those, whether blood relatives or not, that are still harmful to you. We don’t need to keep harmful people in our lives just because there was closeness at one point, or just because they are family of origin. Harmful people do not have a place in our lives. That has nothing to do with forgiveness…that is a whole different article.)

The reason it is easier to remember the negative lies in the details. Negative experiences in our lives, according to researchers of brain memory and how it works, are easier to bring up, and you can blame it all on survival instincts. Our brain remembers negative experiences better because we remember things with much more detail and vividness so that we can attempt to avoid those same experiences from happening again. In other words, when we are experiencing a good memory we tend to remember it as a whole and details are generally lost and later we tend to fill in any of the gaps with nothing but happy details, even if they are not accurate. After the birth of a child for instance a mother may remember that many people were there to see the baby but she isn’t going to remember if Uncle George was wearing tweed or polyester, or whether he remembered not to bring his pipe into the hospital. But she will remember that many people were there, including Uncle George, to celebrate the baby. If something negative happens we tend to remember tiny details better. When something negative happens we take in all those tiny, mostly insignificant things into our memories because we do not want to experience that negativity again. The problem is that we remember it better that way and our memories are much more vivid when recalling those negative moments; therefore, it is much easier for our recall.

It is a bit like dreams. The more vivid and detailed a dream the more we recall. Unfortunately just as it happens in our conscious hours we remember the details in nightmares better than we remember those beautiful dreams. Because our survival depends on avoiding potential threats to us, not remembering that hug from our Dad saying how proud he was when we graduated but remembering if Dad got drunk that day and got mean. So how do we switch this up? It will take work. We might not be able to do anything about how we remember the negative as we are wired to survive. But we can do something to help us remember the better memories more accurately; therefore, we will be able to access the good much more successfully and easily. When there is an event or experience we truly want to remember fully we need to breathe in every detail. Be completely in the moment and concentrate on the smells, the colors, the voices, the smiles, all the tiny, what we use to feel were insignificant, details. Work at rewiring your brain. It can happen. Something many mothers have said I am sure is that success won’t happen without a bit of work?! Don’t you think the work might be worth it?

Wouldn’t it be much nicer if we could remember all of those wonderful things that have happened in our lives just a bit better? And even more importantly wouldn’t it be nice if at future gatherings with people we love we could easily bring up the good just as well as the negative? People might start looking forward to reunions?!

Just in case your memory failed you, please don’t forget what I said in the first paragraph! New things at MBS waiting for you! See you soon!

j.m.s.

 

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