Overcoming narcissist Abuse, by Elizabeth Shaw.
Anxiety, panic attacks and stress.
One of the first things you need to do, to recover from anxiety and stress is understand why you suffer from it, finding the root cause of your emotional triggers When you don’t understand, your mind will make up so many different reasons that are not the truth to what it could be,
Most often after a relationship with a narcissist, you’ll have anxiety that you didn’t have before, as your body had done the subconscious, flight, fight, freeze or fawn to protect you from harm, please see my post about this to understand more, your mind has now been programmed to defend you, looking into what the narcissist did, will help you understand more, that it’s not you, that you can reprogram your mindset and recover. Knowing the things they said to manipulate you, will help you understand it wasn’t you.
Finding the actual cause will help you recover, if that’s the noise of cars pulling up, because you used to fear them coming home, or the sound of the phone ringing, you need to remind yourself when you feel the panic attack or anxiety coming on, that you are safe now, it’s not them, this will help you overcome your stress. When you get stressed you are not dealing with the anxiety problem, you are dealing with the consequences of the stress.
Instead of dealing with the stress, dealing with the anxiety, you need to find the root cause. Ask yourself. “Is it one thing that happened within the relationship that sets off your stress and anxiety, or is it a combination of things.” When you work on what they are, you can start dealing with the problem, that causes you to get, stressed and anxious.
After a narcissistic relationship, you’re left with so many feelings, so many emotions, you may feel confused and lost, yet you don’t always understand why. Often blaming yourself, thinking about, what could I have done better? What could I have done differently? I did Everything? what went wrong? Tell yourself. “ the problem wasn’t you.”
You’ll never get an answer from the narcissist, all you can do is look into how and why they do things, then understand on your own term, why it didn’t work.
When you look into how narcissists, manipulate your mind when you see others out there have suffered the same and have recovered, you’ll understand, and you think. “Oh how I feel is normal, it’s not me, how I responded was normal, I’m not alone in this.”
Nows the time to work out what your anxiety trigger is, real or imaginary, you need to work out what triggers it. When you know the trigger, you can be self-aware of when they are about to happen, so you can overcome them.
What triggers anxiety, what you hear, see, touch, smell, your sense trigger, then you associate to something in your past that caused you pain.
To help work it out, write down, what happened, how you felt if it’s a knock at the door, a song, a car, the phone.
From the physical sauce, you get the emotional response that triggers your anxiety,
Look back at the relationship and find what patterns led you, to feel anxiety, find what triggers it now, ask yourself what the lead-up, what the situation was?
Some self-help ways when you know anxiety is creeping in,
Concentrate on your breathing, long deep breaths in and out.
Get a good photo on your screen saver that makes you smile, focus on it, if your mind drifts bring it back the photo, think what’s good about it, what makes you happy, remember that good moment,
Close your eyes think of positive things,
Get an anchor though, something that makes you happy, focus on that,
Tell yourself. “I am safe now, over and over, until you feel the anxiety, subsiding,”
Ask yourself. “Is it really happening, or is it the past,” if it’s the past tell yourself, “ I am safe. “
Once you know your triggers, what events or circumstances lead to the anxiety, then know your anchors, put in place your coping strategies, at first you’ll have to consciously recognise these, the more you do it, the more it will come naturally, your mindset will change and you’ll be doing them automatically, it will become second nature to you. Your coping strategies will automatically kick in.
We all have a little anxiety in us, that’s normal, it’s when it turns extreme because of the past relationship. You can overcome this.
keep going, stay strong and keep working on you, it will get easier.