What is An Emotional Flashback And How To Manage It?
When a difficult situation triggers a particularly severe flashback, you are being teleported back to a previously experienced situation, with a similar impact. Often times, not just one memory with its emotional blueprint gets activated, but like a backward domino effect, you re-experience a shock and overwhelm and as your brain and your physiology goes through the carved pathways of these turbulent past events, it's important to recognize that you are experiencing an emotional flashback. In these instances, physical sensations are so intense and their emotional counterparts so heightened, you are literally shifting your perception or rather those memories that are imprinted in your body, your brain and your mind are going through a rapid cascade of stressors that can be very detrimental, if we fail to realize what is actually happening. Even if you have been in therapy and you have been working on yourself for a while, you might feel like none of that effort has made any difference, because the inner experience is so strong, your internal movies so vivid and unpleasant.
How you define yourself, through this very narrow window of perception is very much altered. It can be extremely negatively impactful in terms of your self esteem and understanding of who you are in your totality. The impact can be so strong that if you are in public or in a middle of something that needs your attention and presence, you might be absolutely unable to participate and respond cohesively. It is because all systems within you are focused on surviving the episode. Once you learn to recognize what emotional flashbacks are, you will be able to bring yourself back to safety in a relatively short period of time. You might use journaling as a tool; writing down your emotions helps with lowering their intensity and organizing the mind back to wholeness. You want to process the event by assigning a new, positive function to the experience; in a way that gives you back the control over your sense of self. Practicing breath work is very centering as well. Two solid inhales through the nose, followed by a strong exhale through the mouth. Repeat 10-20 times.
When you are experiencing an emotional flashback, things are so intense and overwhelming, you are very vulnerable, confused and easily influenced. You re-experience very painful personal memories. One thing you can do is to remind yourself that you can always go back to the equally positive memories and deliberately, willingly bring forth the energy from within these uplifting experiences into your present reality inwardness. You can use these inner reserves to very intentionally codify your body-mind computer to evoke a state of wellbeing and safety, within all sub-realities.
Here is what I mean; use the opportunity of the emotional flashback to your advantage. You got an access to hidden compartments with your subconscious mind, into the chronicles of your linear past, where things didn’t go well for you. Observe the scene and neutrally enter it, as if you were a separate entity. Rescue these aspects of yourself, whom need your help and loving attention. If you interrupt the disturbing inner movie, you gain control over the narrative and access the ability to act differently. You can simply take yourself out of the scene and walk away. Take that vulnerable part of you to a safe place of your choosing. Repeat the process with other scenes, in which you feel humiliated, unworthy, emotionally codependent. The more pieces of you shift from the unpleasant scenes into the environment that you chose as your safe place, the more imprints you gather together, the quicker you'll be able to process the experience and return to neutrality. When you metabolize the emotions and physiological impacts of them, you will be able to expand your perception again and with enough practice, you can teach yourself not to define yourself by those episodes, since you cannot avoid them altogether. You will no longer fear them and try to circumvent them at all cost. In case of prolonged traumatic injuries of any nature, it's important to understand and accept that these flashbacks can and will happen from time to time. That doesn't mean you're not well and not making progress. It just simply means that you need to take extra care of yourself and prioritize well being. Nothing that happens during these internal events needs to define who you are and how you see yourself. Acknowledge that these are reverberations imprinted in the body-brain-mind construct, temporarily affecting your personal faculties and your ability to access your always supportive inner resources, your personal loyal soldiers. With a consistent dedication to understanding yourself on deeper levels, you will be able to truly enjoy who you really are and resolve inner turbulences with more ease.