An emotional flashback is a sudden, intrusive re-experiencing of a past traumatic event. The person may feel like they are reliving the event and may have physical reactions (such as a racing heart or sweating) as well. Emotional flashbacks can be triggered by anything that reminds the person of the original trauma, such as a sound, smell, or sight.
There are several ways to get out of an emotional flashback. One way is to use grounding techniques, which help to bring the person back to the present moment and increase their awareness of their surroundings. Grounding techniques can include focusing on your breath, counting objects in the room, or feeling your feet on the ground. Another way to get out of an emotional flashback is to practice self-compassion. This means being kind and understanding towards yourself, especially in times of distress. This may involve speaking kindly to yourself, giving yourself reassurance and support, or engaging in calming activities such as yoga or meditation.
Identify your triggers
Your triggers are the people, places, things, or events that lead to your emotional flashbacks. To identify your triggers, think about when you last had an emotional flashback. What were you doing? Who were you with? What were you thinking about? What emotions were you feeling in the moment? Once you have identified your triggers, it is important to avoid them if possible. If avoidance is not possible, then try to find a way to cope with your triggers in a healthy way.
Talk yourself down
First, try to identify what triggered the flashback. Once you know what set it off, you can start to work on managing your triggers so that they have less power over you.
Then, take a few deep breaths and focus on something in the present moment: the feel of your feet on the ground, the sound of your breath going in and out, or a mantra that brings you back to now.
Remind yourself that this is just a memory; it’s not happening right now. The past is over and done with; there’s nothing you can do to change it. Focus on what’s good in your life right now and how far you’ve come since whatever happened in your past.
Finally, reach out for support if you need it. Talk to a therapist or a friend who understands what you’re going through. They can help talk you down when emotions are running high and offer guidance on how to manage flashbacks in the future.
Take deep breaths
When you are in the midst of an emotional flashback, it can be difficult to know how to get out of it. You may feel like you are stuck in a loop of negative emotions and memories, and it can be tough to break free. However, there are some things that you can do to help yourself get out of an emotional flashback.
One of the most important things that you can do is to take deep breaths. This will help to calm your nervous system and allow you to focus on the present moment. It may take a few minutes for your body to relax, but eventually, the deep breathing will help to bring you back into the here and now.
Another helpful tip is to ground yourself in your surroundings. This means that you should focus on what you see, feel, smell, and touch around you. For example, if you are sitting in a chair, feel the weight of your body against the chair and focus on the sensation of your feet against the floor. If you are outside, notice the sounds of birds or traffic and pay attention to how the air feels against your skin. Grounding yourself in this way can help anchor you in reality and prevent you from getting pulled back into an emotionally charged memory or situation.
If possible, try to move your body as well when attempting to get out of an emotional flashback. This could involve walking around or even just standing up and stretching for a few moments. The physical movement can help release some of the tension that may be contributing to your feelings of anxiety or sadness.
Soothe your senses
First, try to focus on your breath. Take slow, deep breaths in and out, concentrating on the feeling of the air moving in and out of your lungs. This can help to ground you in the present moment and ease some of the anxiety that comes with being stuck in a flashbacks.
Next, pay attention to your surroundings. What do you see, hear, smell, feel? Really focus on taking everything in through your senses. This can help anchor you back in reality and remind you that you’re not actually living through the event again.
If possible, try to find a safe place to sit or lie down. Close your eyes and imagine yourself surrounded by a calm space – it could be a beach, a forest, anywhere that makes you feel relaxed and at peace. Visualising this peaceful place can help relax your body and mind .
Don’t beat yourself up
When you’re in the midst of an emotional flashback, it can be easy to beat yourself up. After all, you’re reliving a past trauma that you may have thought you were long over. But it’s important to remember that these flashbacks are out of your control. They aren’t your fault. And beating yourself up will only make them worse.
Instead, try to focus on the present moment. Notice the things around you that are grounding and calming. Listen to soothing music or nature sounds. Focus on your breath and count each inhale and exhale slowly and evenly. These techniques can help bring you back to the present moment and ease the intensity of the flashback.
Think about therapy
If you’re struggling with emotional flashbacks, therapy may be a good option for you. Talking to a therapist can help you understand your triggers and develop coping mechanisms to deal with them. Therapy can also provide you with support and guidance as you work through your emotions. If you’re interested in exploring this option, talk to your doctor or look for a therapist in your area.