Memories are made of this...Emotions.

20 Aug 2014
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When she was alive, I would visit my grandmother's flat and often look at the photograph of two little girls in the typical fancy-dress of the day.

She had many photographs, but I loved this old sepia image of her and her sister. Yet initially, each and every time I pointed it out I would hear, "She got the bigger bow." So I soon stopped mentioning it.

Yet, even after more than 80 years had passed, every time she looked at the photo she didn't see the big sister she loved and cherished all those years ago. All she 'saw' was what she remembered most (and felt) about the day: the regret, the hurt, the disappointment, the frustration, even the anger.

However subtle, these are the emotional reactions that stress is made of, that often start a cascade of physiological responses that can limit perspective, partially close our brain down and eventually wear us out!

What old memories/images/sounds/locations are you still carrying around on your back or in the back of your mind?

What triggers your brain into stress and/or discomfort?

What's been living rent free and unknown in your brain and yet is still hurting you?

And also importantly, what are you not seeing and opening your mind up to?

We can't go back and change the past; but we can change how the past impacts us today - if we are aware of it.

We start seeing (and feeling) the past differently, when we find just one thing to appreciate about it. It does work! Once we find even one thing, our perspective changes, so it's then easier to grow that list to 2, 3 or even 10 things to appreciate!

And remember your list when the old emotional feelings come up. After all, I would inform my grandmother, 'It was a pretty bow and you had a lifetime of such a good relationship with your sister!'

And to improve your health, have that small yet precious notebook by your bedside - the one in which you write down the 5 things you appreciated about your day, each day, just before you go to sleep. Ensure you make it a habit - a habit to be happier.

This way, you will start to 'overwrite' any negativity with the good stuff for the day, before it is hardwired in, as you sleep.

Les

A Moodscope member.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Comments

Anonymous

Aug. 21, 2014, 5:49 a.m.

I liked this idea very much. And found the act of writing very useful in overwriting negative thoughts. The physical act of writing seems much better than simply trying to change your thoughts in your head. Learning is an active process. I also like to write out inspirational quotes as another way to overwrite negative thinking. Such as "Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others" Cicero

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Anonymous

Aug. 21, 2014, 11:02 a.m.

I see this a lot in other peeps and don't generally do this too much anymore myself, if I do find myself being pessimistic it is usually a sign of a down so I try to use that as a sign. Over the last few days (just coming out of a stressful time, my beloved father in law passed away, had a cancer scare, and we have moved house and and are just about to move office) I have made myself whenever I had a pessimistic thought also have a good thought and that seems to be working. E.G. I am weak and not strong and its affecting my life, I will then try to come up with something positive, like yes but it is only just now and you are eating well and making the best job you can of getting better so well done (-_-)

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glad

Aug. 21, 2014, 11:06 a.m.

this is a brilliant post les - thanku! a difficult time of injury plus bereavement with the funeral today has had me reeling .... thanku for reminding me of my heart's intention x:)

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Di Murphey

Aug. 21, 2014, 11:16 a.m.

Dearest Les ~ Your remarkable writing has (once again) triggered an awareness in my heart: "What's been living rent free and unknown in your brain and yet is still hurting you? And also importantly, what are you not seeing and opening your mind up to?" Then you go further with your wisdom: "We can't go back and change the past; but we can change how the past impacts us today - if we are aware of it." The key for me has to do with the last six words. Awareness is paramount to how the past impacts us. Thank you, from my heart. Warmest regards, Di Murphey

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amrose

Aug. 21, 2014, 11:36 a.m.

Les, I don't usually read the blog in the morning but today something about the title make me think it might be from you. As soon as I saw it was from you I had to read it immediately and now I'm going to be rushing to be on time for work because I have to respond and thank you. Do you know what I would love? A website where I could read more of your beautiful writing and wise reminders whenever I need a pick up. Perhaps you do have one you could share with us? Or would like to start one? I'll help you build one if that's helpful. With gratitude, Andra

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Julia

Aug. 21, 2014, 12:10 p.m.

I am thinking hard about this blog Les. Paragraph 4 in particular has made me thoughtful about long held emotional reactions which have become a part of me. You were such a kind grandson though! Even at a relatively young age( I assume), you tried to please and make your grandmother feel better.

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Silvia A

Aug. 21, 2014, 3:14 p.m.

I do almost the same. There is a quote in my country that says: "I was happy and didn't know". This does not apply for me because when I am happy, I enjoy it!

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Silvia A

Aug. 21, 2014, 3:15 p.m.

Thumbs up! Good idea!

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Silvia A

Aug. 21, 2014, 3:16 p.m.

: )

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Silvia A

Aug. 21, 2014, 3:19 p.m.

I think this is the first blog with a photo or illustration, isn't it? Lovely photo.

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Julia

Aug. 21, 2014, 3:29 p.m.

Yes I believe it is Silvia :)

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Anonymous

Aug. 22, 2014, 8:08 p.m.

Les, I appreciate your wisdom and your writing. There's a degree of 'story telling' to our memories as well, isn't there. What happened and what we remember happening are rarely the same.

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Anonymous

Aug. 22, 2014, 8:44 p.m.

Les..."a habit to be happier"...thank you. Trying for that. Aiming high. Couldn't reply yesterday due to gremlins. You're here more, that is good. Love from the room above the garage.

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