A bad memory often is triggered by circumstances, people, places, or events that remind you of a traumatic occurrence. Sometimes this memory can creep up to you in the middle of the night in your dreams.
If you want to get rid of a bad memory you can analyze the meaning of that moment. For instance, maybe you did something embarrassing like slip and fall in the mud right in front of everyone.
Either that or someone in your past hurt you or violated you, or maybe you were in a bad car accident. Spousal unfaithfulness might be another example of a bad memory, and so could be parental abandonment. Having a boyfriend or girlfriend leave you for someone else also can trigger traumatic feelings.
Hear are ways to help get rid of a bad memory (or at least a way to turn it into a positive):
- Take some time to grieve. This grieving may be for the loss of a person, loss of an opportunity, loss of innocence, or some other loss due to trauma. Do not be to hard on yourself if you cannot let go of a bad memory immediately, but find a healthy outlet to help you get rid of emotions attached to it.
- Keep yourself as busy as possible. If it is a relationship you have lost make some new friends and socialize again. You will eventually find someone else. You could also take this time to travel to new locations as a way to get a break from the familiar that could be weighing you down.
- Take up a new hobby or profession. Taking on a new hobby can be a healthy outlet. It can be therapeutic and it can open the door up to meeting new people. Taking on a new profession could fulfill you in the event you could no longer continue another career because of an injury. Your life is not over no matter what the trauma is you suffered.
- Reflect on the unpleasant associations, and learn from it. As you overcome memories of a traumatic experience, ask yourself what you learned from it. For instance, maybe you would learn how to spot potential dates who are more commitment-minded or maybe you will have learned to drive more carefully.
- Forgive when necessary. If someone violated you in a personal way or if someone somehow betrayed your trust, forgive the person. Otherwise, you are hurting yourself more than you are that individual.
- Find someone to talk to. There is no need to suffer in silence. If you are harboring traumatic feelings from something that happened to you talk to someone. It is always easier to deal with a problem, memory, or trauma when you have the right kind of encouragement and support.
- Create new memories. For instance, if you are now single because of a loss of relationship through breakup, death, or divorce it may be time to start meeting new people. You do not necessarily need to get into a new relationship right away, but once you feel you are ready you can.