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6 reasons why it is good to forget

6 reasons why it is good to forget

June 19, 2022

Forget, contrary to what many people believe, is not retiring from a psychological battlefield having suffered many casualties, as if the natural thing was to retain all the information that one day seemed relevant to us. People evolve, and that means that our propensity to evoke certain types of memories or other He also does it.

Next we will see justly, why it is good to forget and why it is not a betrayal of our past identity.

  • Related article: "Types of memory: how memory stores the human brain?"

Why it's good to forget

Among the advantages that you will see below, some are emotional and others are rational . This is normal, since memory works in these two areas of our mind.


1. It helps us prioritize in our lives

Oblivion is, literally, a process of prioritization. Except in cases where there is a neurological disease, what we remember best at a given time is because, in one way or another, it has to do with something that matters to us.

Thus, forgetting certain memories "paves the way" at the time of choose among possible options in a decision making . The fact of having forgotten a person allows us to not even worry about the way in which we should relate to her, for example. To understand it better, the human brain only allows us to consciously decide between options that really compete with each other, instead of wasting time discarding elements that are not going to solve anything.


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2. It is a coping mechanism

Much of the process of overcoming traumas and bad times in general has to do with forgetting. This, however, it does not mean that we are cheating ourselves , as one might suppose from pessimism. The truth is that, whatever we do, we never have a panoramic view of the facts, ours is always a local perspective. This can be happy sometimes, or sad in others, but neither of the two cases is better adjusted to reality because of being sad or happy.

Our options, then, are to be able to opt for a more positive way of life or for another marked by unhappiness: in both, our vision of things will be biased. That is why forgetting negative aspects of the past is not a bad thing, but quite the opposite. It allows us to occupy our mind in experiences that, if we have the capacity to immerse ourselves in them, we will be able to direct our subjectivity towards something that will help us to advance.


  • Related article: "Emotional memory: what is it and what is its biological basis?"

3. Forgetting makes us more creative

When we forget, we do not just "erase" information from our brain; what actually happens is that we transform it. In fact, each time this phenomenon occurs, some of the information we have stored is disintegrated from the rest and joined with other memories or ideas.

The result is that, although certain memories cease to exist as they did before, new ones appear that receive the influence of the previous ones. In this way our mental life is enriched and has more ingredients to work with , since it does not work from "hermetic" categories linked to concrete memories linked only to a specific context.

4. It helps us mature

This advantage of forgetting is closely related to the previous one, and it also has to do with Emotional Intelligence. Forgetting all the psychological pain that certain situations caused us in the past not only prevents us from feeling unwell, but also helps us to distance ourselves from this type of content and evaluate in a more rational way what happened to us and the conclusion we can draw from it.

To understand it better, we can take into account the way in which the death of a family member influences us. At first, stress and sadness make our whole reality change, but as that wound closes, there is that which is useful for us to learn and that we can apply to the rest of our life: that it is important to value the moments together, that we are all human, etc. That would not happen if our emotions linked to that experience were constantly blocking any form of reasoning.

5. It can be useful to remember better

As we have seen, memory is a selective process . That is why eliminating (or, better said, "dissolving") memories helps us remember things in a more agile way. Why? Because it eliminates distractions or elements that may resemble that memory that we really try to recover.

For example, if we have read the name of two different people who have a similar last name, forgetting the one that has to do with the least relevant allows you to make fewer mistakes when retrieving information about the other.

6It allows us to adapt better to new challenges

If our memory capacity allows us to remember almost everything that happens to us, we would be very little agile when it comes to responding to novel problems. The reason is that our record of memories would be so broad that our attention would be directed to that mental file, so look for what is relevant in it , instead of making us concentrate on the problem before us.

The result would be that the doubts would paralyze us in a way that would keep our response capacity at bay. More information does not equate to knowing how to use it well, and therefore, the more efficient we are eliminating parts of information, the better.


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