How to Let Go of Traumatic Memories

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A psychologically injured brain results from holding and storing bad memories. This type of pain body or trauma is challenging to heal. Since, those experiences have been imprinted in our minds, either short-term or long-term; they largely define our personalities and perceptions of the world. This includes the types of food we eat and those foods we do not eat, our judgments of people based on different conditioned factors, our reactions to different types of stresses, and our learned values, work ethic, and lifestyle choices.

We live with these memories. However, we can decide to repeat the patterned response tape for the rest of our lives or release the root of the traumatic pain-body experience. If we look at the human mind as a computer storage disk, we see an ability to store all kinds of information and knowledge. In possesses the infinite capacity to recall every deed that happened in your life.

The fundamental difference between the human brain and computer storage disks is the ability of our mind to make selections of what to store and what to release. For example, it is very difficult for an athlete to remember how many times they fell while practicing unless the falling results in a serious physical injury. All of this is a normal process of growth and development in their sport and life. It does not block or stop them from practicing more or playing more since those experiences are connected with good memories and the brain did not store them a pain point.

Why letting go doesn’t happen all at once

According to the American Psychological Association, memories are subject to modification. Dr. Stefan Hofmann explains that there is an emotional creation process of painful memories and their storage in our brains. When we are a witness, an observer, or object of a fearful event, like a violent robbery, the death of a parent, and abandonment, the communication of this sensory information travels from the thalamus to the amygdala in the brain. This emotionally charged and significant incident embeds itself. This storage mechanism is used as a reference by an individual to avoid or know how to defend themselves from similar future risks.

In the book, The Body Keeps Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, by medical doctor Bessel van der Kolk, “alexithymics substitute doing and action for emotions. They register emotions as a physical problem to be stuffed, rather than a signal that something deserves their attention. Instead of feeling, they experience muscle pain, bowel irregularities, insomnia, and other symptoms.”

The feedback loop in the hippocampus creates long-term potentiation. In the first few hours after an event occurs, memory maps and related synaptic connections for imprinting the memories in your brain are in place. Multiple parts of the brain work together to record sights, sounds, images, and smells. This gives rise to the brain’s recall of the memory with new information triggers and the ability to modify old memories.

The ongoing practice of emotional fitness

The experience of emotions can be positive, negative, healing, destructive, pleasurable, or discontent, depending on how they are recorded in our memories and perceptional field. Being able to regulate how we feel or react to certain events or experiences is not an easy task. One needs to be mentally strong to act contrarily from a situation that his/ her consciousness perceives to be a threat. We must possess a practiced mental fitness, when all our defense mechanisms of the fight, flight, faint, freeze, and fawn, neurochemicals kick in.

When one is emotionally aware or fit, they become more sensitive to their emotions, their effects, and cannot be easily overtaken or wounded by them.

Science reveals emotions to be a by-product of our thoughts. Thus, when one engages in positive thinking, one can trigger a positive reaction to events. Dr. Travis Bradberry, psychologist, award-winning coauthor of Emotional Intelligence 2.0 suggests that it is possible to release the pain bodies, trauma, or bad memories by training our mind to attach positive sensations and look for the gifts. In order to practice emotional fitness, he recommends

  • Being self-aware; in this case, one is to utilize self-reflection to understand why and how they react to different events that trigger their emotions.
  • Self-management; involves self-discipline and the ability to manage our response to triggers. Personal examples may include deaths, sad stories, or failure to achieve life goals.
  • Social awareness is the ability to understand and share other people’s emotions. This is empathy.
  • Relationship management; trains your mind to understand other people’s emotions and use your emotional intelligence to initiate positive interactions to create a win-win outcome.

Energetic cleansing

Individuals who carry a pain body or trauma may feel permanently stuck or blocked. This replaying tape in their lives makes them vulnerable and unable to move on. Pain is not created for a specific person, but anybody at any time can suffer from traumatic experiences.

Once the feeling of safety has been compromised, fear is generated from the subconscious mind. This feeling may cause a person to develop dissociative disorders where one can separate themselves from the present moment when specific memories are triggered.

Howard Brockman, a clinical psychotherapist, reminds us of the Dynamic Energetic Healing® model for understanding trauma. Energetic cleansing, if adopted for healing trauma, can tap in from multiple disciplines a psychological intervention and bring healing to trauma patients. He explains that trauma results in an energy imbalance when specific energy points in an individual’s body are affected. In a normal state, the human energy levels are well balanced; however, when exposed to a traumatic, painful experience, permanent problems are created that make an individual vulnerable. Energetic cleansing transforms, collapses, and dissolves the traumatic wall in our minds to allow us to think and act with intention.

How practitioners can support their clients’ ongoing practice

It is essential that practitioners offering professional support to their clients understand and relate to human suffering. They must create an environment where their clients are sure of their safety and can easily interact with them without having any fear that emotions might trigger traumatic memories.

Integrative healing involves yoga teachers, chiropractors, nurses, massage and trauma therapists, personal trainers, and coaches, working in collaboration. All forms of healing and “Talk therapies are really triggering neural circuits and manipulating the brain,” Quirk says. By interacting with others on the healing care team, sharing knowledge and training, and provide further damage control, practitioners support their client’s ongoing practice toward healing. This therapeutic rebalancing can modify traumatic pain-filled memories and achieve mental toughness. In addition, clients learn to understand the perspectives and emotions of others.

The practitioner must prepare for clients who have problems with self-regulation and help them see and draw from their inner energy. Compassion for the personal and demographic factors of their clients will guide their therapy. Many clients are sensitive to blame and shame, guilt, self-blame, sexual orientation, age, and gender. By establishing trust, the healing period can be a cornerstone.

Neuroplasticity: Emotional and energetic releases

The ability of the brain to adjust to new environments provides the greatest opportunity for enhancing our inner energy to release pain-filled experiences of the past. This capacity of the brain to regenerate new neurons enhanced by positive energy heals the mind from traumatic memories. Research demonstrates that activities, which focus on brain engagement and body healing such as reading, sleeping, learning how to play a musical instrument, dancing, and intermittent fasting are some of the things that play a role in healing.

Training Pranic system and nervous system for the liberation of vasanas (past impression in the mind that influences behavior) and samscaras

The collective human desire to find a balance between material and spiritual lifestyle contributes to the pathway to heal stress, depression, anxiety, pain, and traumatic experiences. These efforts provide the basis of the Pranic system developed by Master Choa Kok Sui. It combines emotion and energy levels of the body for health and personal wellbeing.

Some traumatic memories are created out of the association of certain aspects of life; such as a frightening event that occurred and is repeatedly experienced; for example, when watching a violent movie full of traumatizing scenes with music playing in the background. The brain is able to record that every time you watch the movie. Furthermore, every time you will hear that music, even if the film is not streaming, the brain triggers the subconscious mind to replay the violent scene. It then grows to become a habit and something you are accustomed to. This experience remains unresolved because most people focus their energy on creating blockages around them.

The Pranic system focuses on the energy and life force of your system. Meditating, self-reflection, breathing, requires one to look inward. Pranic healers use energy medicine to rebalance the body and neuron nerves. The energy is then directed to the real experience that triggers the pain-filled traumatic memory. Body energy is channeled there to create a renewed and positive memory. The process is not a one-time occurrence; it requires patience and commitment to mastering the healing energies. The Pranic system is very effective in releasing the body and mind from pressure, pain, and helping patients with illnesses recover effectively.

Pain motivates changes in behaviors, beliefs, old patterns, and can establish a deeper sense of self. It is our inner GPS or our alarm system that alerts us to our distress. To heal your suffering seek out practitioners and self-practices that will help restore, heal, and enhance your quality of life.