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Sometimes throughout our lifetime, we may experience things that are less than appealing, things that can cause us a great deal of pain, hurt, and can bring back so many negative emotions whenever we think about it. For me, every time I have endured a negative experience in my life, I have been pretty good at stuffing it down and “forgetting” about it until I can no longer push it down further enough or until some external factor such as a scent, noise, etc. brings me back to that same painful moment.
A few nights ago was the anniversary of a very painful event. Needless to say, I had stuffed it down so much I didn’t realize what day it was until I was laying in bed trying to go to bed and I started to hear fireworks go off. Immediately my mind brought me back to the same painful place I had been in just a few years before. All of the same overwhelming feelings and fears had taken over my body. It’s as if I was trapped although a part of me knew that I was still okay and I just had to remind myself that I was in a safe place now.
Moving forward, I remembered something that a therapist of mine once told me. She had mentioned that I should try to “wallpaper” my negative experiences. In a nutshell, if I had a bad experience on a 4th of July previously, I should create a good memory on a 4th of July now so that I will be able to remember the day in a better way. This can work for anything negative, not just specific days. For example, if you have had a negative experience at the beach, go to the beach again and do something completely different than when you had the bad experience. “Wallpaper” over the bad experiences with positive ones and take control of your life again. You’d be surprised at how much this actually works!
What do you guys think about this? Have any of you guys tried this or something similar?
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