Memories create feelings ?
When I was about 7 years old, my parents decided that it was time for me to learn how to bike. They bought me at the equivalent of Walmart in France, a pink bike. It had a little basket where I could put the random items that I find biking, or put my snack. ? And it had small training wheels in the back. In the beginning, they made me ride the bike with the little training wheels. But obviously, Those training wheels were embarrassing for my family and me, so my dad decided that it was time to make the jump. And I am extremely not coordinated, I consider myself capable, but anything related to sports, I run away from it. ?
Long story short, it took about a week for me to bike without the training wheels. I remember feeling miserable, wanting to go back to the training wheels, and wanting to quit. Of course, I fell multiple times, hurting my knee, and got the help of layers of Band-Aids. ?
I like biking now, I actually love it! ?♀️
I prefer the nice and smooth trails compared to the unpaved ones. This summer, I biked along the lake in Toronto, while feeling the cooling breeze in the summer evening. Now, whenever I go to a new place, I try to rent a bike, or take one of those 30-minute rentals, and explore the streets. In Montreal, I went to try their famous bagel (I prefer St-Viateur over Fairmount), on the rental bike! ?
What if I gave up, what if my dad let me give up, and what if I made a major tantrum and everybody determined that in fact, sports were not for me? I would have never learned the joy of being on two wheels. I would be forever walking everywhere, I would not be able to feel the cold winds on my face in the summer nights. ?
I am bringing this story to illustrate a simple point. WakeUpMemory is not just about memory techniques, it’s about a whole brain health movement! ?
Our memories = Experiences
Our minds = How we feel
Our memory is our experiences. ?
Those include the juicy chicken you prepared for Christmas, the first snowman you created, the terrible score you had at your least favorite subject, or the time you burnt the cake in the oven. Memories define who we are. They are at the core of our identity. Those memories feed our minds, which makes us:
- To feel happy and excited – the neurotransmitter called dopamine is responsible for these feelings. ?
- To feel sad and anxious – the neurotransmitter neuropeptide is responsible for these feelings. ?
In the beginning, my horrible experience with biking made that arrow loaded with anger and fear. The neuropeptides were overwhelming the neuron circuit.
But then, things started to change once I discovered the joy of being on two wheels. I could feel the wind in my face, I could go to places much faster. Oh and the moment you discover that your parents can’t run fast enough to yell at you! After the excitement took over, the arrow connecting the experience and the mind was loaded with the “feel-good chemicals,” dopamines. Now every time I need to buy, I am still excited! ?
This very simple diagram really is the essence of everything that happens around us. ?
This gives us hope that you can turn your anxiety or your sadness into fuel for happiness and excitement. You just need to change what the arrows mean. Our memories are only what we make of them. The experiences themselves, or objective, they just happen, but how it enters our mind is dependent on our interpretation.
I know it might sound a little too cliche, but let’s sprinkle more positivity in our experiences, and our brain would be full of dopamine, and we would continuously live in this high, triggered by your natural neurochemicals. I know that it is easier said than done, because I struggle with lots of negative experiences, or I constantly hear stories that make me feel depressed. And there are lots of people who have unimaginable experiences. ?
There is no magic formula to change our memories and minds. ??
But now you have the power of visualizing the effect of your memory’s narrative to your mind. With a slightly more conscious effort, there is a lot that you can do. Just think about this simple diagram, visualize it. When an experience comes up, ask yourself “what narrative will the arrow carry?”
And the only way to master this technique is to repeat it. Our brain has a hundred billion neurons that are connected with each other. How the neurons are connected change depending on what we “feed” ourselves consciously. So even if the connection is negative for now, you can turn that into something positive. And try it once, twice, three times, until the mind feels good. ??
WakeUpMemory is about being good with your brain in all aspects, so we can have a meaningful and connected life!
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