Thursday, May 22, 2014

It's Okay To Forget The Bad Days

originally posted at

A rare sighting of the spontaneous hug

Parenting kids with special needs can be tough.
There are good days, bad days and just-can’t-make-it-another-day days.

But while you may not have a whole lotta control over which kind of day you’re going to have, you do have control over how you remember it.

Memories aren't just stored automatically. Our temporary short-term memories are only consolidated into long-term ones if we repeat them and make connections with other memories. So replaying stuff in our minds actually encodes it for long term storage. 

That’s great news, because it means we have some choice over which memories make it onto our permanent record. Memories will fade over time if you don’t bring them out for a re-run or link them up to other memories, so you can choose which memories to strengthen and renew by bringing them out of your mental closet more often.

So how can you train yourself to remember the good and let the bad fade away?
Well here's a little trick that works for me...

Make a good day library

When things are tough, it’s easy to get snowed under by the weight of not just the current bad day but of ALL the bad days you’ve ever had. Stress is really good at highlighting the bad stuff and making you forget all the good. It’s like being in the trenches of a war - when all you can hear is the whizzing of bullets flying past your head, you start to forget what home looks like.

So make yourself a collection of good day memory triggers. Stuff that reminds you of the fun times, the days when the kids were happy, the moments that make you smile.

My good day library has these kinds of things in it...

  • Photos of fun times and victories (no matter how small)
  • Clippings of artwork and achievements
  • Videos of laughter and smiles
  • Souvenirs from vacations
  • Much-loved stuffed animals and toys
  • A container of baby powder

Yes, baby powder. Don’t limit yourself to just photos, put all of your senses to work sparking those happy memories and strengthening the connections in your mind for all the things that make you feel good. Sounds, sights, touch, smell and maybe even taste! Although I don't recommend putting bacon in your good day library. But pictures of bacon? Totally awesome idea.

To read more, click here....

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