Can’t forget that fight? 5 ways to get rid of unwanted memories
Unresolved emotions or bad memories can come back to haunt you time and again. We can get rid of these unwanted memories by following certain tips.
Bad memories have a way of finding their way back to our conscious mind and taking over our present moment irrespective of how old they are. More often than not, they are vivid and make us relive the entire experience every time we remember them. Brain with its 'negativity bias' tends to remember traumatic or untoward experiences better compared to positive ones. This could be because of the negative emotions like fear, shame, guilt, or sadness we may have experienced. Our brain may be better at recalling negative experiences more as it's part of our survival instinct.
Also, as part of our defence mechanism, sometimes we do not process the negative emotions felt during a traumatic experience completely and this is the reason those unresolved emotions come back to surface time and again. We can get rid of these unwanted memories by getting in touch with a mental health expert. (Also read: 6 conversations that should never be had over text: Therapist shares)
Dr. Jyoti Kapoor, Senior Psychiatrist and Founder, Manasthali suggests 5 ways to forget unpleasant memories.
1. Avoid objects and places that trigger the memory
Not all the triggers can be entirely avoidable but there are some which you can. In this way, it will fade out slowly and steadily. Replace those with more important thoughts.
2. Give more attention to happier memories
Try pairing your bad memory with a good one. For example, if you can't stop thinking about a time you had a fight with you loved one, pair that memory with the memory of a time you people had a good time.
3. Live in the present
People often let their minds drift off during their daily activities, and they completely tune out what they are doing. Focussing on the present moment will help you ruminate less and feel more positive.
4. Keep yourself busy
Keep your schedule full so that you have less time to dwell on negative thoughts. If you tend to spend a lot of time by yourself, make it a point to go out more with friends, or visit your family more often.
5. Don't take help of substance abuse
Getting used to mind-altering substances can make things worse, especially if the bad memory has left you feeling depressed or anxious.