advice on how to "delete" bad memories? - Social Anxiety Forum
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 08:55 AM Thread Starter
SAS Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 11

advice on how to "delete" bad memories?


hi all,

i was just wondering if anyone has any good advice as to how to forget or "delete" bad memories?

i have a bad problem with focusing and dwelling on things that have happen to me, sometimes for days... and if im honest, random bad memories can sometimes pop into my head and i'll start thinking about something that has happened years ago .. ( ie bad interactions with people, bullying etc)


thanks
Mr Biscuit is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 09:04 AM
Tired
 
SplendidBob's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: UK
Language: English
Gender: Male
Posts: 11,152
Attempting to fight them or battle against them in itself isn't recommended. Intrusive thoughts and memories tend to take hold when we give them attention. The act of trying to get rid of them is as a process, drawing more attention to them and counterproductive.

About the best thing you could do here would be mindfulness, I suspect.

Dimethylamidophenyldimethylpyrazolone
SplendidBob is offline  
post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 09:49 AM
Broke boy
 
TheForestWasDark's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 718
follow the Jungian path, easier said than done. Don’t hide them or forget them, learn from them i guess. I feel like an open wound at the moment and trying to take small steps to improve myself. Incorporating your shadow into your conscious mind is a difficult step. Being stoic doean't stop humans from interfering in your business. I am still constrained by physical and emotionals needs. I may not need humans for it. But they still have a lot of control over you. They sure are a pain in the ***.
TheForestWasDark is offline  
 
post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 10:23 AM
SAS's Chief Meteorologist
 
Maslow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Denver
Gender: Male
Posts: 7,411
If you find out, let me know. I still ruminate about things that happened over 15 years ago.

... Hold on, let me check my calendar. Nope, nothing planned for the rest of the year.
Maslow is offline  
post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 10:31 AM
SAS Member
 
WillYouStopDave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: United States
Gender: Male
Age: 45
Posts: 27,202
My Mood: Relaxed
I don't know that you can "delete" bad memories purposely. Luckily (and often not so luckily) for me, my memory is garbage and I just forget most things. I can have bad things happen to me and all but forget them by the next day. But in the same way, I have have very good things happen and also all but forget them by the next day.

This is not necessarily something you want to have happen to you if you ever want to get anywhere. It works great for staying in a relatively good mood for extended periods of time. It doesn't work so awesome for making life happen.

------------

In case of emergency, my husk can be used as a flotation device.
WillYouStopDave is online now  
post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 03:11 PM
SAS Member
 
ShotInTheDark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Lithuania
Gender: Male
Age: 21
Posts: 908
My Mood: Sleepy
As you are alive your memories will BE alive too, no matter you want it or not. You can't delete them, or get somehow else to forget them, as well as you can't cut off that part of your brain where are they stored in...

Even shy people can be sassy sometimes...
ShotInTheDark is offline  
post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 10:54 PM
SAS Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Maryland
Language: English
Gender: Male
Posts: 426
Quote:
Originally Posted by SplendidBob View Post
Attempting to fight them or battle against them in itself isn't recommended. Intrusive thoughts and memories tend to take hold when we give them attention. The act of trying to get rid of them is as a process, drawing more attention to them and counterproductive.

About the best thing you could do here would be mindfulness, I suspect.

I have horrible intrusive thoughts of the past a as well. Would love to be able to "delete them" so to speak. Have you heard of the rubber band method? Put a rubber band around your wrist and snap it every time you have a intrusive thought. Its supposed to work by training your brain to feel pain every time you ruminate and therefore reduce your rumination in response. Any experience or knowledge if this actually works?
chrisinmd is offline  
post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 12:37 AM
SAS Member
 
Wrongwolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Gender: Female
Posts: 451
You just have to let yourself feel whatever you need to feel until you no longer feel anything for it. Actively trying to forget and get over things is like invalidating your own emotions (i.e. "I shouldn't be feeling this way. I should be over it by now"). Suppressing things won't do you any good because you aren't dealing with it. You need to mourn it to move on.

Birch tree lost its branch one day in violent winter

I said it was grieving, you said it don't feel nothing
Wrongwolfe is offline  
post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 12:41 AM
Wishing Time Will Freeze.
 
Blue Dino's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: The Great Valley
Posts: 5,885
Seek positive and rewarding experiences to acquire good memories you will treasure, so you will think less of the bad memories that will stay buried.

But you can't really delete memory unless you get amnesia. Or if future technology advances enough where it allows you to do so, like they're programs.


Enjoy any good things, even the little and menial ones, as you will never know what impending distresses could descend upon you in a moment.
Blue Dino is offline  
post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 01:25 AM
Tired
 
SplendidBob's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: UK
Language: English
Gender: Male
Posts: 11,152
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisinmd View Post
I have horrible intrusive thoughts of the past a as well. Would love to be able to "delete them" so to speak. Have you heard of the rubber band method? Put a rubber band around your wrist and snap it every time you have a intrusive thought. Its supposed to work by training your brain to feel pain every time you ruminate and therefore reduce your rumination in response. Any experience or knowledge if this actually works?
Very unlikely, imo.

Have lots of intrusive thoughts too, but the problem isn't the intrusive thoughts, its the reaction to the intrusive thoughts. Most people get intrusive thoughts, its the people who focus on them that run into ocd problems (not that this helps really, in that you can't instantly force yourself not to focus on them).

But rumination is already painful (and more so than any tiny amount of pain a rubber band could release), so I wouldn't expect something like this to work. I think I tried it years ago out of desperation.

Dimethylamidophenyldimethylpyrazolone
SplendidBob is offline  
post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 02:32 AM
Great White Shark
 
Shadowweaver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Mars
Language: Galactic Basic, machine language
Gender: Male
Age: 28
Posts: 482
A good technique which worked for me is explained here:


I don't think you can "delete" bad memories due to how our brain works, but you can detach from them, so they don't cause any emotions and don't contribute to your current state.

To be honest though, what I found more effective is to reframe the memories and to make them appear positive, rather than negative. I know, it can be hard, but there is always a way. For example, in case of a painful break-up, you can reframe it as you both being happier on your own, and you can feel good both about yourself and about the person you broke up with. Or, an example that is close to home form me, you can think of a group of bullies picking on you as a positive challenge that life threw at you, so you could become stronger and learned to deal with weak people acting out of fear of their ego.

So, if you first detach from the memory, and then reframe it in a positive way, then you can make even the most painful memory work for you and make you a happier person! However strange it may sound, it actually works. It does take some time to deal with the worst memories this way, but in the end you can get to the state where you look back and see only positivity.
Shadowweaver is offline  
post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 03:17 AM
10 trillion cells
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: USA
Age: 32
Posts: 3,076
Ime, there's no way to delete unwanted memories. However, there's a way to "drain" them of the negative emotion, which stops them from coming up so frequently (and not be as bothersome when they do.)

The way out is through. Take the memory and feel whatever you feel completely, from then and now. If it makes you angry, sad, hurt, ashamed, embarrassed, feel it completely. Accept everything. When you have unresolved, unprocessed emotion you've pushed away and avoided, memories tend to keep coming up to be dealt with.

I'm not talking abt thinking and ruminating abt it, but actually sitting with the in your body feelings. Once they've been aired out, the memory will likely show up less frequently and the sting will be far less when it does.

Eta- basically everything @Wrongwolfe said lol.

On enhanced mobile I don't receive notifications besides pms. Apologies if I don't respond.

Know your ACE (adverse childhood experiences) score?
Sometimes, SA is a symptom of significant developmental, attachment or interpersonal trauma (emotional neglect counts). If you're still stuck after you've tried SA treatments such as CBT and exposure, research C-PTSD and see if it resonates. Here's an awesome resource. Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving
SparklingWater is offline  
post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 03:52 AM
experimental sincerity
 
rabidfoxes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 832
I have no advice, but could do with some myself. I do a lot of ruminative worry and have a very vague, generalised sense of shame in the light of which all past events are "oh god no" kind of memories.

What @SparklingWater suggests sounds good.

Leonard Cohen (Bird on a Wire): I have tried in my own way to be free
Mrs Hudson (BBC Sherlock): Sherlock! The mess you've made!
rabidfoxes is offline  
post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 05:22 AM
The Meditator
 
Suchness's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Planet Namek, Australia
Language: Enlgish
Gender: Male
Age: 33
Posts: 4,678
The only way to really do it so it's liberating is through presence. Of course your memories will still be there but your identification with them won't. That's the real problem, identification with thoughts. Almost everyone thinks they are their thoughts when really they're the awareness behind their thoughts. When you're present which is basically resting your awareness in the present moment, you stop having unnecessary thoughts about the past and future.

It depends on how present you are and that's where the practice comes in. A good way to find that space of presence is to honestly ask yourself "I wonder what my next thought will be?" You'll experience a moment of no thought, creating space between you and your thoughts (and emotions), that's where you want to be. It's not like you won't ever think again but most of your thoughts will disappear, you'll realize that you don't need 70% to 90% of your thoughts.

It can be very challenging but it's worth practicing. I've been doing it for years, sometimes I forget about it, I'm not very good at it but I always have a level of presence when I really need it. Healing past trauma can help with negative memories, you can do that with specific healing meditations, therapy if you're lucky and cover it up with medication. But really what you want is presence, it's the most direct and primordial way which leads to enlightenment which is what everyone is after.

I should mention that being present doesn't fight or push away thoughts, it actually allows you to accept and surrender to then and what is happening. Surrendering doesn't mean not doing anything, it clears up your consciousness so you can take clearer action.
Suchness is online now  
post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-19-2019, 08:11 AM
SAS Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 4

advice on how to "delete" bad memories?


You can't excise memories out of your brain. You can't reach them precisely and you can't zap them. Long term replacement is the only way.
This is how I cope:
For my worst ruminating thoughts, I write a diary. The diary is written fact. I write not of my feelings but of events. When I reread the diary I see I don't care about what happened 1 year ago for instance and so conclude (rightfully) that I don't care as much about that part of the issue. Almost always I see that current things that happen are more important to me because I can actually do something about them or more precisely do something tomorrow that will address a recent event. I learn to concentrate on the present. The old memories just kind of diffuse away. Writing is also cathartic in that I'm writing about say what other people have done that affects me and so often I see they're at fault and not a person I want to associate with.

If you had to do one thing to address ruminations and bad memories would it be to attempt to blank out old memories or embrace them as a learning experience and move on?
Breath slow and re-frame is offline  
post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-19-2019, 09:01 AM
SAS's Chief Meteorologist
 
Maslow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Denver
Gender: Male
Posts: 7,411
Revenge is the only way to deal with people who have wronged you.

... Hold on, let me check my calendar. Nope, nothing planned for the rest of the year.
Maslow is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
For or Against Catarina Society & Culture 83 07-16-2011 08:43 AM
Ya know what really pisses me off. cucumbermoisturecream Frustration 19 02-14-2011 04:14 PM
Concerns About Offering Bad Advice gilt Coping With Social Anxiety 3 05-16-2010 04:42 AM
Sorry if this brings up bad memories for some people but... Steve123 Coping With Social Anxiety 2 03-27-2010 10:36 PM
Faking confidence: The Perfect Social Butterfly vs. The Silly, Sarcastic Bad A** childofsolitude Coping With Social Anxiety 2 02-23-2010 02:24 PM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome