Isn’t it ironic that we remember all the embarrassing, sad, frustrating, and negative moments in our lives so well? These are the negative memories that we would rather wipe out, but instead, they pop up over and over again to make us miserable. We are not at a place in science that we can remove certain memories from our mind (or maybe we are and most of us just don’t know it yet). But what we can do is alter those negative memories with the power of our minds and make them less negative when they do show up.
Scrambling Negative Memories Into Something Better
This is something that first came to my attention years ago from Tony Robbins. He talks about scrambling negative memories in a way that makes a bad memory seem like nothing important, or amusing, or even funny.
Essentially what you do is scramble the memory in as many ways as you can.
For instance, I could not let go of a memory of a neighbor driving over our lawn. We had just got the lawn put in and the neighbor across the street backed up over it when it was wet and ruined a part of the grass.
I just happened to be looking out the window when they backed up onto our new lawn and saw everything. That’s why the original memory was very vivid in detail.
The color of the new green grass, their red truck, the movement of it backing up and then coming up over the curb and slowly going over our grass, the look on their face of indifference to what they were doing, and the tire marks on the grass after they started driving away. The colors, the sounds, and the situation were embedded into my mind and made me livid every time I thought about it. Even in the middle of a nice dinner or get-together with family, the memory would put me in an instant bad mood. In fact, sometimes I would wake up in the middle of the night thinking about it. I couldn’t let it go.
I knew I had to wipe out the negative memory or I was going to do something I would regret. So I applied the scramble technique to the memory.
I changed the color of the memory from being vividly colored with green grass, their red truck, and the blue sky, to a black and white memory. I envisioned everything happening in black and white and it took away my disgust of watching the green grass turn to mud.
Then I changed the sounds. I put on the benny and hill song. This always makes me picture things like Mr. Bean, where someone’s ignorance makes them do stupid things but in a funny way. If you don’t know the song, this is what I’m talking about.
Then, to go with the music, I rewrote what happened. The neighbor drove back and forth like Austin Powers trying to turn around in a tight spot. Then they backed up on our lawn, got out of the truck, and slapped their forehead over and over again. Then they got back in their truck and drove forward onto their lawn! Then the truck sprung up into the air and disappeared into the sky.
I realize it’s unrealistic for the truck to fly away into the air, but that memory makes me laugh and feel good over the original memory, so it’s what I choose to remember whenever it pops up into my head.
The point is to scramble the memory up into something that makes you feel good, or at least doesn’t bother you.
You don’t need to keep the details of negative memories the same. The past can be played within your mind.
Remake negative memories as bright or dull, loud or quiet, realistic or not realistic as you want.
You can add other people.
You can take away people.
You can change how they look, speak, and act.
You can change where you are and what you are doing.
You can even take a video memory and turn it into a still picture that changes how you feel. It’s up to you.
The bottom line is that you can wipe out negative memories for good. There’s no law that says they need to stay in your mind exactly as they are forever. You can choose to redo them.
Scrambling memories is just another example of the power of your mind and how you can use it to increase your happiness, health, and success.