The Power of Remembering

By: Sofía De La Garza, M.S., LPC-Intern

As human beings, we tend to suppress negative experiences. Trauma, criticism, ridicule, and rejection top the charts in this category. What happens when we suppress so much that we completely forget everything? We forget our own story. It is this story that nobody else owns or has power over. Suppression is a maladaptive coping mechanism. This coping mechanism exists because it is scary to remember. Remembering can breathe new life into an old issue. It gives the negative experiences license to haunt us.

When someone is implementing a maladaptive coping mechanism such as suppression, for too long; however, everything begins to resurface and come out. This is when things can get difficult. Overwhelming emotions and outbursts are common. Mindfulness (remaining present in the moment) is helpful when it comes to suppression. Mindfulness helps us to identify what we are suppressing.

Mindfulness includes: reflection, meditation, and deep breathing exercises. These facets of mindfulness help us to find our center and remain present in the moment. Suppression can make one emotionally and physically ill. If not treated properly, it can spiral. Negative experiences are difficult to overcome. We have the power to turn our negative experiences into a positive. Negative experiences serve as learning opportunities. We can use what we learn and help others who are experiencing similar situations.

You do not have to process your negative experiences alone. If you or someone you know is experiencing difficulty processing negative life experiences please call JFS at 210-302-6920.