Can You Stop Disturbing Memories From Playing On Repeat?

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male mental health patient

It doesn’t take a diagnosis of trauma or post traumatic stress disorder to create the experience of living and reliving difficult moments. We see them in our sleep, we see them as we mindlessly stare out the window. In our most calm moments, they creep in and play from a broken remote. Without a way to mae the pain, guilt, shame, fear, and sadness stop we are constantly left victim to negative thoughts, feelings, and memories. As a result we feel discouraged, unmotivated, helpless and sometime hopeless.

For individuals who are working on recovery for their mental health through treatment, this is an especially discouraging occurence. Treatment is meant for healing and changing the mind from creating more and more pain. Thankfully, research is particularly focused on how to maximize positivity and increase the potential for efficiency in the brain. Negativity and ruminating negative thoughts are useful in what they can teach us when they don’t hold us back.

One study suggests the use of self-guided positive emotional imagery training. Imagery techniques are neither new nor revolutionary. Creating positive visualizations in the mind also doesn’t work for everyone. Some people actually aren’t able to visualize images in their minds. However, for those who can make use of the technique, they find great benefit. Imagery and visualization are tools often used in cognitive behavioral therapy in order to “reframe” painful memories. By painting a different picture- quite literally- one is able to change the way they emotionally relate to that picture.

Imagery Processing Techniques

Some techniques are easier and more safe to practice alone without the clinical supervision of a therapist. Others might be triggering for underlying trauma.

  • Rewind The Tape: Imagine your difficult memory like a tape that you do have control over. Play the memory as it is until it finishes. Then, press rewind and go back to the part you don’t like. Press pause. Visualize yourself stepping into the memory and changing things around to what you would have preferred. Now, rewind the tape all the way and play it through with the new part. You’ll be surprised to discover you have a new memory.
  • The Golden Field: Imagine yourself walking through the woods when you come upon a golden field. In the middle of the field is a gurgling spring of everything that makes you happy. As you walk through the field you can feel the gold shining and shimmering into your being. Walking up to the spring, it rises and becomes one with your body, helping you to embody everything you find positive and happy with golden, glittering energy.

Avalon Malibu is a certified mental health treatment facility providing residential care for those with a primary mental health diagnosis. With clinical support, a program of holistic healing, and the tranquil grounds of our beautiful estate, you can trust our treatment and our results. For a confidential assessment, call 1 (888) 958-7511 today.

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