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Beautiful memories and pain: Exercise

Pain is a feeling that can strengthen your brain when you are not feeling well, when you feel tense or stressed. How can you change your feelings? In this blog you will find an exercise where you use a memory.

You can do something about your feelings yourself.

Fortunately, there are ways you can change your feelings. In the next exercise you will go back to beautiful memories to change your own feelings. Read the exercise carefully before doing it. 


If you find it easier, you can focus your eyes on 1 point during this exercise, or close them for a moment. 

Then you may now look for the most beautiful memories you have. Maybe from a nice trip, a holiday... or just a moment when you felt happy that you are remembering now. Or a moment when you felt really proud.

Did you get the memory? 

Think back to this memory, and see if you can remember as many details as possible. What does your memory look like? What do you see when you think back to this? What happened around you? Who were with you, or were you alone? What was the weather like? 

And what did you hear then? Was it quiet, or were there all kinds of noises around you? What sounds were there...?

Do you remember what it felt like? Did your body feel calm, or just full of positive energy? Can you feel some of that calmness or energy again?

Play the memory to yourself, maybe full of movement - or still as a picture. And if your attention slips away for a moment, don't worry! Just bring your attention back to the beautiful memory. 

And so you focus completely on that positive memory. As if you are experiencing it again. And notice how this memory might positively influence you. How your feeling goes along with the positive memory. 

See if you can make as many senses as possible active during the exercise. Try to relive what you saw, felt, heard and maybe even smoke. Try to keep this up for a few minutes! When you go astray (which usually happens often), quietly bring the attention back to the memory.


Using memories in everyday life

In this way you can make use of positive memories, also in real life. In some ways, your brain is not that smart - it often doesn't know whether something is 'real', or whether you think back to something, and then just takes over the positive feeling of a memory. So it can't hurt to take some time for yourself at bad times to go back to a memory that makes you happy.