- Mental Health
Memory - Change Negative Thinking
Change Negative Thinking Through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Did you ever have a memory problem in which negative thinking became overwhelming? A negative thought might remain in your memory bank in the very front of the brain, occupying hours of your day. You are not alone. I have an excellent memory, but remember the bad and good vividly, creating a liability for myself. A physician once told me a good memory might be an asset or a liability. I certainly agree. Mr. B., a man with a similar problem, requires his wife to monitor what he hears, due to his superior memory to remember good and bad or positive and negative. Luckily, I found ways to deal with this problem with psychological techniques called cognitive behavior therapy. Some examples follow:
Techniques for altering negative patterns
One day, a wealthy striking young woman, loved by everyone, was brutally murdered near my home. Her stepbrother discovered her in a closet with her one-year-old child still alive. The story, vividly described in the newspaper,made me realize that she was an acquaintance of a close relative. I kept seeing that scene repeatedly, with increasing anxiety,, until I changed the picture.
1. I changed the scene from color to black and white in my mind and moved the scene far away, as my brain put the scene out of my mind. I also could have added a step and blown it away, like blowing out a candle. My picture changed.
When my husband had heart problems, the physician scheduled him for open-heart surgery. At that time, I had to change the picture to eliminate negative thinking about the outcome of his surgery.
2. I put a picture in my mind of my husband smiling after the surgery as the physicians declared it a success. Every time I thought about the surgery, I put the picture in my mind of my husband smiling as he emerged from the operating room. It was an overpowering feeling and took away any negativity.
I worked for many years at a stressful job. It was vital to avoid as much as possible thinking or talking about work outside of work. I changed the picture.
3. One of the solutions was to put a rubber band on my finger to remind me to avoid work talk. Another alternative was to replace a thought with other preplanned thoughts of pleasant people or scenes. Meditating or listening to a relaxing tape was also helpful.
One of my relatives works in the finance industry. Due to the crisis several years ago, the company began laying off employees, while others quit for better jobs. Every Friday, co-workers left with no warning. She was devastated.
4. She decided on a technique that worked for her. She pretended she did not work at the firm and disassociated herself from her job. Thus, when people left, the blow lessened, and soon she accepted the situation. She could have used another technique of painting a picture in her mind of office life before the upheaval, or a picture of what it would be like when it ended. Fortunately, times got better for the company, so this mind technique ceased. Changing negative thinking in your memory can become an automatic procedure with repetition.
Techniques can be successful
The above scenarios represent examples of cognitive behavior therapy. It represents a therapy, which teaches that our thoughts cause our feelings. Thus, if people can change their thoughts, they can discard negative feelings through this process. The changes take place over a period of time with practice by the individuals, and experts call it the cognitive model of emotional response. It is usually a technique between therapist and patient. However, some people find it possible to learn the process themselves. Success can mean a total new outlook on life and an uplifting experience that can can last forever. Memory processes improve as a person changes the negative thinking by painting a new picture.
The girlfriend of a famous golfer refused to marry him due to his negative attitude. He changed very quickly. Some people cannot prevent negative thinking due to trauma or other issues. Those persons need to seek help and may have a long road to travel. The key to becoming successful is determination.. Reach out to others in positive friendliness. Be kind, be nice, and smile. These attempts will make our world a better place for all mankind . If you do not have a kind word to say to someone, say nothing or think of something kind.. The efforts of one person at a time can change the negativity that exists in our society.
Disclaimer: This article is not a substitute for professional help. Please see a therapist if you feel the need. I have a degree in Psychology, and the resource material is listed. Thank you.
Video on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- In-Depth: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy | Psych Central
Cognitive behavioral therapy (also known by its abbreviation, CBT) is a short-term, goal-oriented psychotherapy treatment that takes a hands-on, practical
- Cognitive behavioral therapy - Mayo Clinic
Cognitive behavioral therapy — Overview covers definition, risks and results of this mental health treatment.