The Lily Program® ~ An Individualized Mental Health Program For Women

Monday, 26 November 2012 17:00

The Evocative Memories of Trauma

Written by Jacqueline Dawes

There are all kinds of sensory cues that send us reminiscing down Memory Lane, evoking treasured moments and comforting customs. I only have to smell a waft of the perfume Tweed and I can see my mother in her early 30s laughing and working around the house almost as if I was there. One picture of a piece of coal sends me walking into the back yard to the coalbunker to fill up the coal bucket for the fires of my childhood.

The brain is so amazingly powerful in wanting to help us think good about many things. The things that have caused me much pain in my life I try not to recall because the continuous ruminating over things that have had a massive negative emotional body blow do not help me. One of the misperceptions of trauma is that one-day it will be over. Usually the effects of a major trauma are never over, but there are many tools a person can use to learn to cope and the perspective of it can become tolerable.

Creating positive new memories each day and not putting things into your memory that make you feel less than positive is very helpful. If you know certain things are emotionally straining for you, then stop doing them. Emotions are an energetic expression of who you are, so if you have become frozen and immobilized by an event often complex grieving will follow.

Emotions give you a roadmap providing information that nudges you into action. They help you know when you are in alignment with your needs and values, when you feel loved, when your needs are not met or when you are in danger. The mind determines if a feeling is positive or negative. Painful emotions, such as feeling anxious, frightened, guilty, ashamed, angry or overwhelmed are calling for help from you to either correct the situation or remove yourself from it.

By giving more positive cues to the mind we feel happier and if we keep putting into the memory things we liked or enjoyed, the mind moves to positive and this makes it harder for mood gloom to take over.

Try and get together a group of things you really love now. A new scented candle, a furry scarf, a new type of tea, a different music artist. Sometimes leaving the past behind is best served by not continuing to evoke memories that enslave you into sadness. Protect what you put into your mind now so you are not trying to route it out later.

Last modified on Tuesday, 04 December 2012 15:25

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