Getting past the Past

Question : There are some negative memories in my life that I just can’t get over! The moment I think of it I seem to just spiral down into a negative state and it seems as if the rest of my day is just a total disaster. How do I get out of this state? What do I need to do overcome my Past Negative Experiences?

Answer : Try recollecting a very happy experience in your life – maybe your birthday party as a 10 year old, your graduation, your first job, your marriage or the birth of your first child. Observe yourself. You will notice that you would recollect how happy you were and you remember all that you did in that happiness. But it does not really affect your behaviour, demeanour or countenance in the present moment. However, certain painful memories of the past seem to hold us in a grip. The moment the memory is triggered, all of those emotions comes up and continues to affect you in the present. The reason is simple. When you experience a ‘Positive’ emotion, you feel the emotion completely; you express it completely and get done with the experience totally and completely. The moment is complete!

But when you go through a negative emotion, you have conditioned yourself to NOT express everything that you feel; you suppress a large part of yourself in the attempt to get done with the pain. However, you have not gotten done with the experience totally and completely. That experience is like a running program in your internal memory-space.

The moment there is a trigger to that memory, you feel all of that emotion surging back to you. You want to express the emotion but don’t know how to. The result is that you only add to that emotional pool already inside.

At a certain point there are so many ‘running programs’ in your mind, that the smallest trigger can ‘hang your system’.

Focus on resolving your suppressed emotions. Breathe out deeply and rapidly when you feel an emotion surging. Try to healthily express all that is stored inside of you. Seek help if you think you need it.

The end point is to store EVERY Experience as just a memory – some are happy, some are not so happy.


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NOTE : The questions and answers in this series are compilations of discussions during therapeutic sessions with my clients. These are not generic pieces of advice. These posts are meant to give the reader a perspective. I am deeply aware that these answers can seem way too simplistic for people actually going through similar situations. Please seek professional help if you find yourself grappling with your mind and emotions. 

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