1) Increase your awareness about what happens to you at a physical and physiological level before and during a flashback.
2) Develop an observing self that helps you identify what is happening to you from a non-judgmental and detached perspective. Think “Isn’t this interesting I am (observe and describe just the facts).” As if you are watching yourself on a TV or movie screen.
3) To minimize a flashback ‘ground’ yourself in the moment. Notice in specific detail what is around you. How would you explain to others the room or place you are at in such detail that they could paint a picture of it from the details you provide them.
4) Play word or number games such as crossword puzzles or Sudoku at levels that take minimal to moderate concentration. In other words do not try the most challenging puzzles at this time save those for when you are in a good place. Challenging enough to engage your mind, yet not so challenging you cannot do the exercise. Count backwards from 100. Do it in specific increments like five or seven if that is more helpful. 100, 99, 98; or 100,95,90; or 100, 93, 86. Say the alphabet backwards. List names or places that start with each letter of the alphabet. You can do a multitude of variations of this mind game.
5) Move feelings and thoughts from inside yourself to outside yourself by writing, talking, drawing, painting, or make a collage as a representation of what is going on internally for you.
6) Engage in moderate physical activity (as long as you are medically cleared to exercise) such as walking, planting flowers, cleaning, or bike riding.
7) Play with your favorite pet.
8) Change your space…go to a place that is safe for you.
9) Change physical sensations, take a cold shower or hold ice in your hand. Blast the air conditioning or go stand in the warm sun.
10) Avoid using behaviors that in the long run will become problematic for you or increase the likelihood that symptoms will increase more frequently in the future such as restricting or bingeing food, drinking alcohol or taking prescription medications beyond prescribed limits.
Remember that you will have to practice, and find the techniques that are the most helpful for you in managing symptoms. These techniques are not permanent solutions for more assistance in significantly reducing symptoms contact us.