Do you carry painful memories of the past? Perhaps you believe you are destined to be haunted by them or do your utmost to ignore them or “try to forget”. Do you struggle to remember in you current life? Understanding why and how we remember can help you unlock more inner peace and improve you memory now. This memorial day is the perfect time to reflect on memories. We invite you take a deeper dive and to better understand how our older and sometimes painful memories can be used to transform our emotional and behavioural reactions in our present life.
The memories we carry define who we are, the relationships we have, and even how we react to things. While we are partially defined by our genetic makeup which our parents gave to us, we are also defined by the experiences we have and how we relate to those experiences. Memories are an extension of our health; the healthier we are the more efficiently we store memories and are able to recall those memories. The truth is our subconscious mind is built on the events and perceived beliefs that formed from our good and traumatic experiences in our formative years.
We tend to think our memory works like a filing cabinet: we experience something, generate a memory, and then file it away for later use. In reality, the mechanisms behind memory are more dynamic and based in the way our brain & mind functions. However, our memories are not stored like a CD in one single place in our brain. In fact, as the work of Candice Pert and the latest in neuroscience shows us memories and our mind is throughout our entire body, often referred to as you bodymind. interestingly, to produce a memory you pull information from throughout your bodymind. The visual cortex, auditory cortex and even cells and neuron throughout the body send information to recreate the memory. The strength of these mechanisms determines how memories are translated within our brains and bodies.
The memory is then recreated for our observation or experience of remembering. As you have experienced many times memories create emotions and emotions are chemical reactions in the body. This memory will continue to play out the same physiological and psychological response within our body mind until the pattern is interrupted.
This is where NLP and Hypnosis give you the advantage to “take the charge” out of those old patterns and dismantle the program that causes unwanted behaviour, uncomfortable emotions and the destructive patterns that keep us from living a content and peaceful life. One particular technique that has an immediate impact in disrupting the old pattern or programming is called Memory Reconsolidation. It is an NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) technique that works directly with the memory. By empowering the younger you with new resources it fundamentally changes how your bodymind reacts and responds when faced with the same triggers or simply recalling painful or traumatic memories. In essence you interrupt the old pattern and create a new one.
Hypnotherapy has long understood that our current problems are most often a belief pattern repeating itself over and over in our lives. Perhaps you have noticed you find yourself making the same choices in relationships or life, even though they ultimately end up causing distress and unhappiness. That is actually you subconscious working to protect you, but it’s working on old data and needs an update. Neuroscience supports more and more the modalities of Hypnosis, NLP, EFT, Meditation and Mindfulness as the keys to unlock us from our personal prisons.
Neurons (nerve cells in the brain) communicate through synaptic connections (structures that pass a signal from neuron to neuron) by releasing brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. The events in our life create the connections. In fact neurons that fire together, wire together. These neurotransmitters are sent from one neuron to another. The rate at which these signals fire and the kind of neurotransmitter determine the message one neuron will send to another. Through our own consciousness we are able to self program and because we enjoy the ability of neuroplasticity we can change our brains throughout our entire lives.
When we first experience something, neurons fire in a particular way, creating a neuron pathway associated with that experience. When we have a similar experience or choose to draw upon a memory, experience, or piece of knowledge, the same neural pathway reactivates. Every time this reactivation occurs the strength of the pathway increases. For this reason, when we rehearse or study something, that thing will become more concrete in our memory.
Our ability to recall information or experiences depends on maintaining the strength of longer term connections between neurons. The stronger these connections, the more vivid a memory will appear to be. Over time, if we cease to use a certain piece of knowledge or cease to reflect upon a particular memory then that neural pathway will lose its strength, which is why memories fade over time. This also explains why it is easier to relearn something than to learn something for the first time. The original memory pathways still exist they have just deteriorated, therefore relearning involves reconstructing these pathways.
The most important key to storing memories is giving your brain enough time to absorb and process the things that we experience. Here are some trending products meant to boost your memory retention!
- Rosemary essential oil has a focusing and energizing mental effect. Widely regarded as the oil to use for memory and concentration, rosemary allows one to more efficiently consolidate and encode memories. The perfect essential oil to diffuse when studying for a test or reading a book.
- Quartz crystal is an important crystal for focusing energy and concentration. Useful for remembering and retaining new information, this crystal can record energy. Keep this crystal with you as you travel to reflect on your journey at a later time.
- The book A Little Bit of Dreams is an excellent supplementary book for understanding how sleep and memory relate to each other. Dreams are important links to our lives and can help us develop deeper self-understanding. This book will help you interpret your dreams and teach you tricks for remembering them for longer as well.