I listened to a fascinating TED talk recently. As I understood it, the gist of the program was how our brain biologically does not differentiate between actual events and our memories of those events. So when we rehash a traumatic event, it’s as though we were reliving that experience all over again. The brain sends out stress signals as though that event were happening right here right now.
That really blew my mind. Obviously, I know that, mentally, we know the difference between an event and a memory but what if subconsciously, our brains do not know the difference.
It made me wonder what happens when I get stuck on a traumatic event or circumstance? Am I essentially subjecting myself to that event over and over again? You know?
Yes, we must mourn, we cry. We are sad but let’s not dwell. This is what I vow in a way to educate my brain. To not dwell.
I suppose the opposite is true. If I were to wash myself in happy thoughts and happy events, I could also trick my brain into thinking that the happy events were happening in the present! And I think to myself how awesome that would that be?
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I can testify to what you’ve said, as almost daily I’m slammed back into some traumatic memory. However, like you I’m committed to not “dwelling”–so, before I can get lodged too deep in the memory, I say in my mind (where it’s happening), “STOP!” And then I move on to a more pleasant place or activity 🙂 Thanks for this post!
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Wow, I so agree. I am beginning to try out this mental exercise. Replacing negative self talk with positive affirmations. I don’t always remember:-) but I am determined to keep trying.