A narcissistic relationship with anyone, a romantic relationship or a parental relationship leaves a lot of wounds to heal. Co-workers, bosses and friends can also leave you with anxiety.
Rational anxiety is normal, unfortunately, when our minds are around negative toxic environments. This rational anxiety, once out, can leave us with irrational anxiety, as our subconscious will have been programmed long term to protect us.
As a narcissist is gaslighting you with psychological abuse, often leaving you with self-doubt and a lack of self-esteem. They also provoke you, and they will project and blame, leaving you feeling to blame and full of guilt, with the added psychological abuse of the silent treatment, leaving you questioning what you did wrong, often leaving you walking on eggshells around them, no longer being able to speak up for yourself and full off anxiety through fear of reactions and the words of self-doubt they’ve planted in your mind.
Symptoms of anxiety are.
Common physical symptoms
- Changes in a heartbeat.
- Muscle tension.
- Excessive sweating.
- A dry mouth.
- Shortness of breath.
- Sleep disturbance.
- Stomach aches.
Emotional and effects are.
- A sense of fear or dread.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Loss of confidence.
- Feeling disconnected from the world, friends and family.
- Feeling unsettled on edge or restless.
Anxiety can affect all areas of your life, living with anxiety makes you withdraw from life itself. You can overcome your anxiety with simple steps and work from you.
Anxiety causes chaos in the mind and body, leaving your mind to react strongly to certain events or situations.
Fear usually manifests in the case of danger, yet there may be no rational danger when anxiety hits, although your mind truly believes it is rational.
Once you’ve been through one anxiety attack, your mind prompts you to avoid any situation or place where you’ve experienced it before, a natural defence mechanism to help you. Avoidance is your minds way of trying to protect yourself. Once you’ve experienced pain, if your mind believes it is going to experience it again, anxiety kicks in, thinking it’s protecting you. It’s natures way for you to avoid stressful situations when it’s a rational fear; it serves us well when it’s irrational, it starts to become counterproductive and work against us.
In an attempt to protect yourself, your mind sends out warning signals. It sends you into a state of hyper-vigilance. So you start avoiding places and people. Understanding why it happens will help you overcome your anxiety.
Anxiety isn’t caused by one single factor, and it’s usually a build-up of a combination of things. Difficult life experiences can be one cause. When we start to feel anxious, we often turn to things that give us comfort, food, wine etc. If it helps do it if it makes you feel worse, in the long run, it’s time to create new coping strategies. Being aware and assessing the negative effects is key. So if having a glass of wine or two helps and you can carry on great, if having two bottles gets you texting random stuff to those you shouldn’t and waking up feeling worse, it’s time to change it. If you’re comfort eating, then feel worse afterwards. All you’re doing is feeding the anxiety. It may feel hard. It might feel painful to start but going for a walk, running up and downstairs for five minutes instead will help release endorphins and help you feel much better instead of that comfort food. To get over anxiety, you’ve got to deal with the underlying issues first.
Everyone has an inner voice. However, after an abusive relationship, and if you struggle with anxiety, it can work against you. Your inner critic can hold you back, and it can self-sabotage so many areas in your life.
You need to identify it and challenge it. Once you do, you can then break the cycle.
You have now got to catch those negative thoughts, and it is not easy to start this process. Once you do, it will get easier.
1. Talking to the right people can help. Friends, family, support groups, talk therapy, psychologists, life coaches are great for helping you work on anxiety. Talking helps with cognitive behaviour, which teaches you to adjust your thoughts and actions.
Interpersonal shows you how to communicate better.
Problem-solving gives you the skills to manage your symptoms.
It’s a proven mood-booster that’s good for your body and mind. Exercise also raises your self-esteem and confidence. And it’s considered to be a treatment for mild to moderate depression. It releases endorphins which naturally lift your mood.
Even a brisk walk can do this. Just find one that you enjoy, joining team sport is great for making new friends, or dancing.
3-5 times a week, for around 30 mins, just start slow if it seems too daunting, one day a week 10 min, then next week do two days, make a plan and stick to it, slowly increases at a pace you’re comfortable with.
3. Yoga or meditation, just 2-5 minutes a day, can help.
Focus on your breathing.
Make a picture in your mind of a beautiful image
Repeat a simple word or mantra, like “happiness.”
4. Clean up your diet. Comfort foods can help your mood at the moment, just not in the long term. Proteins are great, meat, eggs, nuts etc., especially if you’ve taken up exercise. Good fats, like in cheese, avocado, dark chocolate nuts, plus fruit and veg. Everything in moderation.
5. Do something meaningful. Find something you enjoy. Get involved in an activity that feels important to you. It may be athletic, political, spiritual, or a social cause where you can volunteer. Look for something that gives you a sense of purpose.
6. Be creative. Direct your focus into something constructive. Rediscover your strengths. If you have a long-lost talent or interest, dive back into it. Listening to music, learning to play an instrument, try painting, dancing, singing, writing, keep trying new things to you discover what you enjoy.
7. Read a good book. It’s a good way to relax. There’s even research that shows that reading books on psychology may boost your mood. Also, learning about narcissistic personality disorder and what you’ve been through helps many people in the recovery process, although that isn’t for everyone.
8. Get a sound support system going, reach out to support groups with people who know what you’ve been through and how to help, friends and family if they are available.
9. Get organised. Slowly and step by step, set a new goal. De-cluttering your home can give you a clearer mind.
10. Try to manage your worry, keep a written diary. Set aside time to tackle issues one by one, then leave those worries in the journal and enjoy your day. Keeping a diary on your anxiety also helps you spot signs and triggers.
11. Baby steps, just start smiling at people or find something small that steps you out of your comfort zone.
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Elizabeth Shaw is not a Doctor or a therapist. She is a mother of five, a blogger, a survivor of narcissistic abuse, and a life coach, She always recommends you get the support you feel comfortable and happy with. Finding the right support for you. Elizabeth has partnered with BetterHelp (Sponsored.) where you will be matched with a licensed councillor, who specialises in recovery from this kind of abuse.
Click here for Elizabeth Shaw’s Recommended reading list for more information on recovery from narcissistic abuse.