Memories - use it to feel better

Memories - use it to feel better

Quick! Think of a moment that gave you immense joy!

Meeting your spouse. Buying a home. Graduation perhaps?

Wonderful! Now I am going to share a lesson that might help you regulate the way your brain works.

Memories are, in some sense, a way for our brains to construct the future. The future, strictly speaking, is unknown.

Our brains are known as prediction engines because we use prediction to fill this gap of not knowing the future. 

Memories then become the basis for predicting the future.

So, where does this wonderful memory fit in?

Imagine you are going to fly. You dread flying, and it fills you with anxiety. Perhaps you feel this way because of a prior experience. We call them memories.

So if you create a cue, say a wedding band, that brings back memories of meeting your spouse, your brain will be forced to think of that memory.

While the wedding band symbolises marriage for most of us, the actual memory has long since faded or been forgotten. By reinforcing the memory with the cue, you are refreshing it.

Now, when you think of flying, you can use the cue to switch to a positive memory instead.

Your brain suddenly has to process this wonderful memory and predict how your flying experience will unfold in the future, both at the same time.

It makes the task of predicting an uncertain future easier.

Naturally, the question would be can you use this process all the time for everything? Is there such a thing as overuse?

Unfortuntely yes. Joy from a memory also has diminishing returns. So use it as a superpower, but use it selectively.

Create a cue that triggers a wonderful memory. Then use it when you really need it to feel brighter, better, optimistic, or positive.

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