CBS News published an article referencing a study by the University of Warwick in the U.K. The study concluded that half of the individuals remembered events that did not happen.
Professor Kimberly Wade said, “The finding that a large portion of people are prone to developing false beliefs is important. We know from other research that distorted beliefs can influence people’s behaviors, intentions and attitudes.”
This research reminded me of another recent study published in the Journal of Neuroscience. In that study the conclusion was, that when we remember an event we rewrite the memory based on our current situation.
Professor Joel Voss explains, “Our memories aren’t perfect. They’re not like tape recorders. There’s a small current of thought that thinks these failures aren’t necessarily a bad thing. Memory is not intended to allow you to remember what you did last week, or remember your childhood. The point is to help you make good choices right now.”
Rewriting the Past
I think the most important thing to take from this is that when we remember something in the present, we rewrite the past, and it’s influenced by our current state of mind.
This is really important. It means that you can directly influence your own memories based on whether you’re happy, or depressed, or stressed-out, or angry, right now.
What I take from that is we need to be highly aware of how much our current mindset can affect the way we see things, even things long ago.
Change Your Attitude
If you’re stuck in a ditch and can’t get out, it’s time to change your attitude. You’re in charge. You get to choose whether you’re going to be positive or negative every day. And that decision has real consequences in your life.
It’s not always easy to look at things in a positive way, but that simple decision can affect your present, your past, and your future.
Science says so, and I say so. Dig that!