Some people who were abused (physically or emotionally) during childhood often regress to dysfunctional reactions to any unpleasant situations that remind them of what they went through as children. The dysfunctional reactions can range from freezing out (sleeping too much or losing themselves in watching TV, for example) to fighting (misusing their power over others, for example). You can get out of the grip of such emotional flashbacks by making use of the following techniques.
Embrace Your Adulthood
One quick way to end an emotional flashback is by reminding yourself that you are now an adult. How can this help? Consider your age and the roles that you now play. Such thinking will shift your attention from the emotional flashback that makes you feel like a child (incapable of acting independently). Acknowledging your adulthood enables you to draw upon the resources at your disposal, such as your skills and friends, to get over a troubling situation (a job loss, for example).
Own Your Boundaries
Children feel helpless when the adults who should protect them turn against them and abuse them physically or emotionally. Such helplessness can trigger the responses of shutting down when an experience triggers an emotional flashback to the childhood abuse. Waking up to the reality that you can set your own boundaries may end the flashback quickly since you will recognise that you can take steps to end the unpleasant situation. For example, recognising your right to set boundaries can enable you to walk away until your partner calms down and stops shouting at you.
Deconstruct Eternity Thinking
Childhood abuse often leads kids to feel very hopeless because they imagine that what they are undergoing will never end. Such eternity thinking causes extreme fear and pain to the extent that the individual shuts down and stops behaving normally. Emotional flashbacks can take you back to that childhood abuse and make you feel that what is going on will never end. Break free from such a mentality by telling yourself that the flashback which you are experiencing will pass in the same way that it did during previous episodes. Such a new way of framing the experience will empower you to take charge of your reactions when something unpleasant happens.
It is not easy to get over the childhood abuse that keeps manifesting in the form of emotional flashbacks. It is therefore imperative for you to seek counselling so that you can have ongoing help during your journey to recovering from the effects of that abuse that you were subjected to early in life.