Memories can work for us, or against us.
Your mind prioritizes memories based on how they rank in relationship to your survival.
That means that a bad experience produces a much stronger memory than a good experience.
The reason is simple. If you experience something unpleasant or potentially threatening, your brain says to itself… “I really want to avoid having that happen again… like, EVER!” and then the memory is filed away in an easy to recall memory bank.
The next time you find yourself in a similar situation, your mind recalls the awful memory and issues a warning, and you do your best to avoid having a similar unpleasant experience.
Has the moon lost her memory
This is how anxiety was able to take such a solid hold on me, by bringing up memories of a few bad experiences and using them against me. My sweet little mind was trying to protect me, and it was doing a bang up job. My mind had managed to turn just about ANY experience I had into a bad one. There was such a build up of bad memories that I was receiving a constant barrage of warnings.
Memories of good experiences get put in a less easy to recall memory bank. In fact, if you want a good experience to gain a higher ranking + land in the easy to recall memory bank, you will have to experience that good thing 5 times more than you did the bad thing. (It’s a random-weird-brain factoid.)
When I think about the good ol’ days I spent as a kid riding ponies at the ranch on the hill, they were filled with courage. I was fearless and nothing frightened me.
Looking back, I can see that I had gathered an arsenal of good experiences, times 5. Which means my brain was loaded with good memories and didn’t feel the need to issue warnings.
Cherish your good memories.
The good news is you can help your good experiences rank higher in your memory bank.
Look for the good in your life. Celebrate it. Share it. Tell stories to others about joyful or silly moments from your childhood. Tell someone thank you. Write it down in your journal. Paint a picture about it.
Build out that good memory and get it working for you. The more deeply you embrace the good things in your life, the more joy you will experience every day.
Hey! Why not get started right away. Share your happy memories in the comments below.