"The alarm went off like it does every morning, but this time, I kept my eyes closed and smiled to myself as it rang. Smiling because I could feel the warmth of your body next to mine. I could sense you breathing beside me still deep in your slumber. Smiling in the comforting aroma of your scent. Then, as I slowly rolled over to greet you, I opened my eyes to realize I was not in San Francisco. I was not laying there beside you. I was in Atlanta. In my own bed, alone."
Well... that sucked.
Have you ever taken into account the sounds in our daily environment and how they may be intrinsically linked to our memories?
A new study from researcher Benedetto Sacchetti, of the National Institute of Neuroscience in Turin, Italy, suggest that the same part of the brain that's in charge of processing our senses is also responsible for storing emotional memories. (The results will be published in the August 6 issue of the journal Science.)
Memories relating to an event are scattered across the brains sensory centers activating the entire limbic system (Hypothalamus, Thalamus, Amygdala, and Hippocampus), which is involved in the processing of emotions and in controlling memory. So is stimulated, it can evoke a memory. So this morning, my hippocampus was stimulated and I had a Warm and Fuzzy about an ex... hmmm. Thanks, limbic system!
Sounds can evoke emotionally charged memories that even trigger smell! (the reason I also smelled my ex...) No wonder why it can be hard to get over a breakup, or bad experiences... sound can connect us to our memories and each other. Then, depending on your outlook on life, it can remind us of the good times or situations we may not want to get ourselves into again.
So, if sound has such a strong influence on emotions and our cognitive system, how can it be used for the power of GOOD! Say, getting over an ex? Getting over bad experience?
While I do not have the answer on how to get over an ex, except for allowing time to pass, be kind to yourself, and remember that there was probably a good reason the two of you broke up, I have found the below studies on sound and music used for GOOD in helping people who are going through some pretty rough times.
Oh, and one more: Absolutely NO internet stalking. (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE! Bad... just bad. Don't do it.)
Stroke Study: "In a single-blind, randomized and controlled study, Särkämö et al.  examined whether everyday music listening can facilitate the recovery of cognitive functions and mood after a stroke. The results of this study revealed that recovery of verbal memory and focused attention improved significantly in the group of patients who listened to their favorite music on a daily basis compared with the patients who listened to audio books or received no listening material (control group). Besides the improvement in cognitive functions, there was also a substantial mood improvement in the patients who listened to music (they were less depressed and less confused) compared with the control group." -NCBI
"These studies and especially the study by Eschrich and colleagues  support the tremendous influence of music on our emotional and cognitive system. Music automatically awakes us, arouses us and engenders specific emotions in us, which in turn modulates and controls many cognitive functions". -NCBI
Dementia Patients': “Sensory cues are really the secret to providing what we call comfort care,” said Marguerite McLaughlin, who’s in charge of quality improvement at the American Health Care Association, the country’s largest trade group for nursing homes. (Read Full Story: HERE)
Ultrasound Could Treat Alzheimer's DiseaseUltrasound scans are very useful for peering inside the body; using high-frequency sound waves, doctors can create images of various organs to detect problems, or monitor developing babies in the womb. But it turns out that ultrasound scans may have another, rather unexpected use in medicine: They may help treat Alzheimer’s disease.(Read Full Story: HERE)
Sound Against Cancer Following is a fascinating interview with Dr. Mitchell Gaynor, a leading oncologist who has pioneered new strategies for the treatment and prevention of cancer. Dr. Gaynor, author of the book “The Healing Power of Sound”, actively uses sound in his integrative oncology practice. (Read Full Story: HERE)
 Särkämö T, Tervaniemi M, Laitinen S, Forsblom A, Soinila S, Mikkonen M, Autti T, Silvennoinen HM, Erkkilä J, Laine M, Peretz I, Hietanen M. Music listening enhances cognitive recovery and mood after middle cerebral artery stroke. Brain.2008;131:866–876. doi: 10.1093/brain/awn013. [PubMed][Cross Ref]
 Eschrich S, Münte TF, Altenmüller EO. Unforgettable film music: the role of emotion in episodic long-term memory for music. BMC Neurosci. 2008;9:48. doi: 10.1186/1471-2202-9-48. [PMC free article][PubMed][Cross Ref]