I can’t blame my short-term memory lapses on my age. I’ve had this problem all my life. Neurofeedback sessions have helped a lot, but there are still gaps that leave me frustrated and even exasperated at times. To try to fill these gaps, I’ve developed some habits that help, like putting my billfold, glasses, car keys etc. in the same location every night when I empty my pockets, so that finding them in the morning will be routine.
Recently, I was rushing around getting ready to leave for work, when I realized my billfold was not in its usual place. Immediately, my anxiety rose, triggering thoughts such as, what if I get stopped by a traffic cop on the way to work? What will I do if I have to make a credit card purchase?
I frantically raced through the house, revisiting all the places I had been last night, the living room, my home office, my wife’s computer desk, my clothes closet, the kitchen and dinette. In my closet, I’d twice checked the coat and pants pockets of the clothes I had been wearing yesterday. When the second time around the house didn’t locate the billfold, I found my anxiety enhanced by frustration. The thought of having to notify the credit card companies to cancel and reissue, as well as having to apply for a replacement driver’s license, added anger to the above emotions.
Then a thought popped into my mind, why not try tapping? Though new to this tool, with still a lot to learn, I sat down and began tapping:
Even though I know I’ve been careless with my billfold, I very much would like to remember where it is, and I’m a very worthwhile person.
I repeated this several times. Suddenly, the closet flashed into my mind. I rejected the image at first, because I had already twice gone through the pockets of the suit I had worn. Then I got another flash. I hadn’t worn the suit, only the coat. I’d worn a pair of different colored slacks!
Rushing to the closet, I pulled out the slacks I’d worn. There in a pocket was my billfold! Plus, I still had time to get to work by opening hour.
While this may seem a trivial thing to get upset about, my first emotional reaction had the potential to set my whole day on the wrong track. Tapping relieved my anxiety, frustration and anger, and allowed my short-term memory circuits to do their job.
Robert (Bob) Dickson
Originally published on November 18, 2011.