What are flashback memories

Flashback: memories and emotions

Sometimes the past catches up with you. From one moment to the next you feel like you have been transported back years or even decades. Memories and emotions pound down on you and you relive everything that you went through a long time ago. Such Flashbacks can be confusing at first, as the feelings that arise cannot be precisely assigned. But are flashbacks all bad, or can they even be beneficial if you manage to manipulate the sudden memories? We explain what exactly is meant by a flashback, how it is created and what types of flashbacks are differentiated ...

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What is a flashback?

Flashbacks are first and foremost memories. The special thing about it, however, is that this very much occur suddenly, are not consciously evoked and yet very strong are. So you do not think back to a certain event in your life and thus force the memory, but are grabbed by the memories out of nowhere.

You have the feeling that you have traveled back in time and relive what is long in the past. It doesn't matter whether the experience was a few months, years or several decades ago. As soon as the flashback grabs you, it's just like that for the moment, as if time had turned back been.

Flashbacks are also characterized by the fact that the person concerned has all Emotions and sensations from the past once again experienced almost as strong. For example, you may be hit by a flashback completely unexpectedly and suddenly you feel enormous sadness, maybe even start to cry or feel very afraid. On the other hand, a positive flashback can also lead to great joy, contentment, and well-being, even if you previously felt bad.

The term flashback is not without reason from the English words for lightning or lightning and back composed. Reliving past moments and feelings not only comes as quick as lightning, it is just the same suddenly over again. Flashbacks often last only a few moments or a few seconds, but they can also last up to a minute.

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Flashback triggers: How are the memories evoked?

A flashback is not announced beforehand and you are not consciously evoking the memory, but there is usually still a concrete trigger that causes the flashback. These are so-called Key stimulithat can appear in a wide variety of forms. Even a brief sensory perception can be enough and act as a key stimulus that catapults you many years into the past in no time at all.

Possible key stimuli are, for example, a old photothat evokes the memories and feelings of the day it was recorded. Suddenly you can see clearly again who was there, what you did, what was laughed at, even what was drunk or eaten. With strong flashbacks, you can even have the taste on your tongue again. A song that has a meaning in your past and triggers the flashback can have the same effect.

Very often key stimuli are also Rumors or smells. The band twenty one pilots describes this phenomenon in their well-known song Stressed Out with the words: Sometimes a certain smell will take me back to when I was young. So roughly Sometimes a smell takes me back to when I was young.

If the reliving follows such a key stimulus, one speaks of a natural flashback. The sudden memories can also be triggered by illness or substance abuse. Probably the best-known expression is related to a post-traumatic stress disorder. For example, payrolls returning from war zones suffer from flashbacks in which they relive the dangers and fears.

This is how you can take advantage of the effect of flashbacks

You cannot create true flashbacks that match the definition. The positive effect that these can have, however. Memories and the emotions associated with them can have a profound effect on our current state of health. So you succeed, strong ones To evoke memories as well as emotions, you can relive it again - maybe not quite as strong as with an actual flashback, but definitely noticeable.

This can be worthwhile, for example, if you before an important exam or facing a challenging task and feeling insecure and nervous. Just remember how you experienced a great achievement to get yourself in the right mood. Or put yourself back in a situation in which you felt completely safe. In this way you can increase your self-confidence and approach the task with the right attitude.

With a good memory and a little imagination, this can be done, but it is better if you can do this too Use key stimuli. Find out what positively influences you and brings back good memories. Perhaps it is your favorite song that is playing in the background or the smell of a perfume that you associate with special memories.

The more positive the experience, the stronger the associated emotions. Feel free to dig into your past to find something that makes you really happy or proud. If you then still find an associated key stimulus, you can do that Flashback effect for your own benefit deploy.

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[Photo Credit: Antonio Guillem by Shutterstock.com]