Why Do We Retain Bad Memories Better?

Many people find it difficult to remember good memories, but very easy to recall the bad experiences. In fact, some people are unable to access any good memories at all. Why is this? The answer lies in the body’s response to an event, and the small matter of survival! We are (fortunately) designed to survive and thrive.

Part of this design is the crucial ability to remember what to avoid. When we encounter something that causes us stress, the subconscious records it as a fight-or-flight event; and in order to ensure our survival, the memory of it is prioritized.

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Good Memories vs Bad Memories

It is not essential to our survival that we recall the good events that have happened to us. It’s nice, but it is not essential. It is, however, essential (at least, as far as the subconscious is concerned) for us to remember the events that caused us pain. In addition to this, memories are accompanied by matching feelings.

When you remember that particularly traumatic break-up you experienced you’ll notice you can feel the emotions somewhere in your body. They may not be as strong anymore, but they’re there — you can feel the memory.

In the same way, if you allow yourself to go to a wonderful memory — perhaps the first time you held your baby, or the feeling of relaxing on the beach, on vacation — you will begin to feel the sensations that match those memories in your body as well.

All bad feelings are various degrees of the stress fight-freeze-or-flight state; and the chemicals released during this state (such as cortisol and adrenaline) have a more intense effect on the body than those released when we’re feeling good.

The “feel good chemicals” such as oxytocin produce a powerful effect of feeling good, but the effect is not as intense as those produced in states of fear, anger, hurt, and other stress states.

Again, the reason for this is survival. Feeling bad is the result of the fight-or-flight chemicals — which are designed to fully get our attention and induce a sense of urgency and danger in order to prompt us to take necessary action to survive.

Feeling good is less urgent. While it is still essential to our health and well-being, it is not a matter of life or death in the moment. For this reason, any bad memories and feelings will always naturally override the good ones.

However, we have the choice to consciously choose to focus on the good stuff. Since the vast majority of events that cause us stress are not a matter of life or death, but emotional reactions and responses to various experiences with people, circumstances and events — and since our bad memories are no longer needed for survival — we have the option to consciously choose to let them go.

Tipping the Scales

Releasing the bad memories using FasterEFT will help you to increase your ability to recall your good experiences. They’re there, in your subconscious; they’re just not being accessed since you have more urgent references in the way. The more you clear your bad memories, and make a conscious effort to remember the good experiences you have had, the more access you’ll find you have to the rest of your good memories.

Using a Happy Journal is one of the most effective ways to improve your ability to remember more of your good experiences.

For more information on how and why FasterEFT works, visit: The FasterEFT System.

For guidance on using the FasterEFT technique read: The FasterEFT Technique — Step-by-Step.

Don’t miss any update follow us in Twitter and visit our Medium Publication.

To listen to Robert explain how the mind works and watch him demonstrating the technique on others, visit the FasterEFT YouTube Channel.

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