Elizabeth Kensinger, a Boston College psychologist did a research study and it showed that whether an event is pleasurable or aversive seems to be a critical determinant of the accuracy with which the event is remembered, with negative events being remembered in greater detail than positive ones (Association for Psychological Science, 2007). This is interesting information for anyone who may care. What does this mean to me? This means that when something bad happens to you, you are more likely to remember that situation in greater detail then a situation that caused you joy. A great example of this is shootings, bombings, plane crashes, domestic violence relationships, watching the death of people dying alone during Covid. These are all memories that we tend to remember in greater detail then positive memories. WOW, maybe that is why healthcare is in such a disarray. I'm not sure about you guys but it took me a long time to accept watching all of those seniors dying in the facilities without their families. I remember crying on my way home from work almost everyday because I had just worked a 12-16 hour shift and someone had passed away. It wasn't their passing that hurt so bad (they are elderly so it's kind of expected eventually) it was watching them pass without their loved ones. If the death of dying is the number one fear of people, could you imagine what they felt like knowing that no one they loved was there. Let that sink it...what made it even worse was the fact that most healthcare professionals didn't agree with this but had to endure it regardless of their personal opinion. This absolutely broke my heart...it still does if I allow it to. However instead of allowing this to haunt me as it use to, I instead let it inspire me! I pray that no one ever has to fight their battle alone! It doesn't matter if it's death, depression, PTSD, anxiety, and or just everyday stresses that are getting you down, you are stronger then your bad memories! Instead focus on the good things that have happened to you...a marriage, a birth of a child, a graduation, a job promotion, a friend/family member going into remission...the good memories are there if we choose to remember. Start your day today by remembering something great that happened in your life. If you find your mind heading towards a bad one because it seems clearer, change the scene and imagine reliving your good one. It takes practice but I promise you each day you'll get better and in the end it will change your life!
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