Amnesia

Memories… Most of us have them. They can be pleasant, unpleasant, or downright disturbing. Sometimes we would like to forget certain ones, but we can’t.

I’ve recently completed a fascinating novel by new author S.J. Watson – “Before I Go to Sleep” – about a woman who can store memories for only one day, knowing that each deep sleep will wipe out all the events of her life. Every day she wakes up with amnesia.

Just like the woman in the novel, some of us go through periods whereby we seemingly have forgotten all the many blessings that life has to offer, and things seem bleak.

Remembering pleasant events is vital to an enduring sense of well-being. People who are unhappy or depressed often have just as many opportunities to recognize pleasant events as those who are thrilled with their lives… they just don’t remember the good stuff as well. In fact, human beings in general have this ‘negativity’ bias, as I have discussed before.

Taking this idea a step further, we sometimes forget what we love about others in our lives, perhaps leaving us with difficulty feeling what we once felt about them.

How can we re-connect with what we appreciate about another person? What can we do to shift the negative:positive ratio of our memories of them toward the latter?

If you read my previous blog, you will have part of the answer… Writing down “something” that went well with that person today – something they said or did that you liked, however small or seemingly trivial, is a powerful method of reinvigorating a relationship that has gone flat.

Spend just five minutes at night doing this day after day after day, and see if you don’t find yourself noticing more and more those parts of a person that you value, and for which you are grateful. If you keep this up, hopefully the empty cup of this relationship will one day runneth over, or at least begin to fill up once again.

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