We have all been there. That moment when your doctor asks you, "So… how has your pain been since I've seen you last?"
At that moment, you turn to your memory to provide you with a summary of all the ups and downs that you have been through. Of course, you remember your pain! Your pain is very hard to forget or ignore!
We often think of our memory as being a kind of camera that records what happens in our lives.
Research shows that memory is less like a camera, and more like an artist's painting. If the artist feels blue, the painting will show that. If the artist feels vibrant and full of life, the painting will show that too.
When you are in pain, your mind can more easily focus on memories of pain. This is not just true for physical pain; it is true for emotional pain too. For example, when you have an argument with a loved one, you are likely to recall many previous arguments you have had – especially if you felt similar feelings at those times. Or when you have a set back at work, you might find your mind going over previous difficulties.