Writing Exercise: Flashbulb Memories

On the 1 year anniversary of the Sandy Hook shootings and Nelson Mandela’s funeral… this is an interesting writing exercise to do!

When you can close your eyes and picture yourself back in a moment as if it just occurred (regardless of how long ago it really happened) it is called a “flashbulb memory”. Cognitive psychologists named it that for the memory’s vivid, picture-like quality. They are usually memories of highly emotional events. When you recall a flashbulb memory you remember all the sensations and emotions associated with the memory. Common flashbulb memories are of historical events such as JFK’s assassination or 9/11. They can also be personal events, such as one’s wedding day or birth of a child.

Describe one of your own flashbulb memories. Describe the event. What is your memory of the event? What do you remember seeing, hearing, and feeling? What were your emotions and thoughts about the event at the time? Writing about this memory will be an interesting read for family, friends and even yourself in the future. So you may want to do this exercise several times for all the important historical world events so that you and others can be reminded of where you were and how you felt on that day.

Please tell us what you think about this exercise below. What historical or personal flashbulb memory did you choose to write about?

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