We have already written about what flashbacks are and why they appear in our minds. Today we will talk about what to do if flashbacks appear and how to minimize them in your life.
How to overcome flashbacks? During flashback
Memories can be very horrible. Everyone is different, but here are some methods you can try.
Talk to the flashback yourself. Say to yourself, “These are just memories. This is not happening now. That’s in the past. ” Tell yourself, “I’m fine. I am strong. I survived. ”
Focus on the moment now. Find the differences between then and now. Ground yourself: name the objects that are nearby, touch them, feel the texture, breathe deeply.
Do what makes you feel safe. Curl up in bed, wrapped in a blanket if you’re home; or, if in a public place, find a private place, such as a bathroom.
Breathe slowly and deeply. Put your hand on your stomach and inhale, watching your hand rise and fall with your stomach.
After the flashback
Praise yourself for going through this and give yourself a break. Do something enjoyable. Listen to music, eat chocolate, take a hot shower or have a cup of tea. Talk to someone. Tell them about your memories and how you are doing so they can help you in the future. Maybe you want to be alone after the memories, or maybe, conversely – surrounded by others.
Tell your loved ones so they know how to act in such a situation. Work out your flashback. If you are ready, you can write about your memory. This can help you get it out of your mind and stop / reduce the recurrence.
Some triggers can be “obvious”, such as hearing about someone’s similar experience or being at the place where it happened. Others may be harder to predict, such as odor. If you can identify the things that evoke your memories, it will help you prepare. For example, you can make sure that there is someone around you who knows about your flashbacks and can support you. Or practice “grounding” methods in advance. While it may seem like a good idea to avoid your triggers, it’s not always helpful. In fact, it can increase your anxiety and interfere with a full life.
Do not neglect professional help.