Meditating does not mean that you extract that part of your memory and forget all that has ever happened before. Especially life events that haven't served you well and more than anything in this world, you would like the "pain and suffering" to be taken away. You must know, that our mind is like the revolving earth, ever evolving and spinning in its orbit in its own perfect proximity and whatever that's been planted before, it is there and always will be.
Because it is so wide and limitless, we can choose where we would like to lead our thoughts to. Our mind is the limitless space, and "negative" spaces are fundamental to building an "image and picture" of anything we wish to put together. That is how we are able to visualize dreams, scenarios, circumstances and fragments of things we have come to learn and know about. We put those pieces together inside our heads. When you learn to "un-clutter" the mind, you get to choose to be on the other side of the "negative space" that is part of your brain and living mind and you can't turn that part "off" like a switch. You can only ever attempt to make the effort for a "shift" into a different space.
When you "quiet" the mind, you see more clearly and there is a small window of opportunity to make the "shift" when that happens. Slowly, steadily, you shift yourself to a different space - a positive one. One that contains new affirmations and thoughts, new memories, experiences and places you have recreated for yourself. Planting new seeds takes time for it to grow and also takes consistent care for it to ensure that it is healthy and strong before you can bear fruits and flowers for you to enjoy and repeat the cycle.
It is a process, a journey, a learning curve for the mind to adjust and know its way around. Just like anybody you first come to know as a stranger, our minds are the same and it could be our potential best friend or worst enemy. You can make the effort to understand her strengths and weaknesses to make the "relationship" work or you can resist, resent it and feel like it is a battle and challenge every day and feel the need to fight against it all day long. It is a choice we all have and we can make it work to our advantage.
Meditation doesn't necessarily mean sitting in a chair or on a floor and just closing your eyes in a dead quiet room that could echo your breath and forcing your mind to stop the chatter. In the beginning, this would probably be counter-active to your first step of taking the leap to have control of your mind. It would probably work better if you used other tools or routines to help jump-start your mind and introduce new positive things and subjects into it before you begin to sift and sort.
Yoga is one of the methods that best serves as a physical and also a mental workout, producing best results for both body and mind. Because you literally hold your own physical body as your object of attention, all the focus and concentration put on it will ultimately produce positive results if you commit wholeheartedly and go into the postures with intent and give it your undivided attention. If you do it consciously for a full 60 - 90 minutes every day, that would definitely lead you feeling a whole lot better re-leasing all kinds of tensions and stress in your body and mind with your attention taken away from any feelings of negativity in that frame of time and put right onto your physical body directly to tone and strengthen. It is by far one of the most effective practices for easily distracted individuals.
You can of course pick up a quieter and more subtle routine and habit like a good self-development read, (if exercising is a big issue for you for whatever reason) books of a positive nature and feed your mind with more "good stuff" so that you can "fill it up" with new knowledge that are applicable in your daily activities and one that serves you well. Painting nature also serves as an extremely good way to put your attention on bright colors and natural feel-good settings and environment over a good period of an hour straight, uninterrupted with your mind stationed in a good, happy place.
It is a little obscure as people always have this idea that only professional artists can pick up that paintbrush to do something like that. But really, you don't need to be Picasso to attempt to engage in this activity. If you have a love for nature, it will not be a difficult task for you to set your eyes on it for a full hour, however your painting turn out to become is totally irrelevant and only serves as an outlet to grab hold of your attention.
The more positive activities and attitudes you choose to include into your daily life activities, the easier the road to be able to sit down and literally do nothing and naturally be able to quiet you mind comes quickly. You will no longer have to use external tools to aid you in doing so. It will just be you, your space and your mind. That is the ultimate goal eventually. Not having to meditate while you're in an awkward pose (yoga) or having to set your eyes on something beautiful to do so (nature) will be the best outlet to go about because you take yourself and your mind everywhere you go, literally.
You can't always carry your yoga mat with you 24/7 or readily have paints and brushes in your bag pack or a new book constantly at the back of your palms so if you can eventually do it with nothing in your hands or on your plate to "keep you occupied", you have successfully achieved the best method to do your meditation. To simply just sit there, close your eyes and let it all go. (Negative thoughts and feelings) To allow well-being to enter with ease and flow, making the shift to the positive space of every-thing you ever desired for and want in your life.