Do you, or your loved one, experience flashbacks?
Most of us understand a flashback as being a memory w/ images & pictures. It is important to understand that flashbacks are any of the following emotional content coming up intrusively:
· Body Memories (Body Sensations)
· Sudden Emotions/Feelings
· Auditory Memories
· Racing, Paranoid, or Obsessive Thinking
· Pictures, images, symbols
· Sudden Somatic Experiences: pain, loss of sight, paralysis, fainting, etc.
Learning to Self-Soothe is instrumental in learning how to balance our automatic nervous system. In my practice this is one of the skills most of my clients’ fall deficient in. It sounds easy enough, do something soothing. We may even say to ourselves, “I get it”, BUT DO YOU know how to soothe yourself in a positive way without escaping, avoiding, denying, repressing, or overly expressing?
We are NOT born knowing how to soothe; we learn it from the environment around us. If we did not properly learn this in the first 7 years of life, we are deficient until we build this skill. Also, there are things that can happen to us at any age that can create a sense of losing this skill.
In DBT it is an essential Distress Tolerance skill. Just as the senses can arose our emotions, they can also soothe our emotions. Use the 5-Senses to Soothe your nervous system. Find things (without consequences) under each category (Sight, Hearing, Smelling, Touching, & Tasting) that are Soothing to you; use them train or retrain your brain to relax. Build a Self Soothe kit for yourself and use it.