What’s the difference between being anxious a having a full-blown, debilitating anxiety attack?
Every survivor of narcissistic abuse will have times when we get anxious, and this is true during and after the toxic relationship. It makes sense, if you think about this from the perspective of a scientist. A bit of news to share: over the next month, I’ll be publishing a new series on this blog to help survivors of narcissistic abuse to work through their anxiety issues that are related to C-PTSD and the after-effects of a toxic relationship. In this post, I’ll share with you how to tell the difference between everyday, normal anxiety, full-blown panic attacks and the kind of anxiety related to our abuse that we can manage on our own.
What is anxiety exactly?
Anxiety is a natural reaction to a perceived future threat. It’s intrinsic for every human. But for survivors of narcissistic abuse, it can become debilitating and overwhelming. Sometimes it’s simply the fear of the unknown. Sometimes we’re afraid that we’ll embarrass ourselves or that we disappoint someone we love.
And sometimes, anxiety can be a good thing. NO, REALLY! Sure, it’s uncomfortable, but it can also be a good way to motivate you to create positive change in your life, if you allow it to do that.
What about panic attacks?
How do you know you’re dealing with anxiety attacks and panic attacks? Well, first you have to remember that just having occasional feelings of anxiety is pretty normal. But when we’re talking about the kind of anxiety attacks that overwhelm and cripple us, our physical health can be affected, and that’s why it’s so important to take notice and do something to stop the attack.
When anxiety spirals out of control, our bodies release stress hormones. Other severe physical symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea, migraines and more. If you suspect you’re suffering from this, you may need more help than the internet has to offer. I suggest visiting your primary care physician and getting checked out to ensure that nothing else is wrong before you proceed to work on dealing with the anxiety.
But there are things we can do to deal with some of our trauma-related anxiety, and that’s what we’re going to do starting tomorrow. But first, you should know if this challenge is for you. It is, if:
You are worried and anxious frequently and it’s starting to have an impact on your quality of life and your health, without yet being a serious medical problem.
If your anxiety if impacting your sleep, your ability to relax, to enjoy life with your loved ones.
If you are otherwise healthy, for the most part. Ask your doctor if you’re not sure. While I am not a medical professional, I highly recommend that everyone get at least yearly checkups with their primary care doctor. This is your right and your responsibility and it’s one more way you can easily engage in self-care.
As the month goes on, I hope I can give you some tips and ideas to help you reduce it. Give this challenge a try, but if at any time you feel yourself spiraling out of control and towards severe anxiety attacks, don’t hesitate to get help from a medical professional.
Bliss Missions Coming Up: 30-Day Challenge for Dealing With Anxiety After Narcissistic Abuse
As a fellow survivor of narcissistic abuse myself, I will teach you how to relax, how to put your thoughts into perspective, how to calm your nervous system down, and how to change your attitude from constant worry and fear to looking forward to what the future brings.
For today, prepare for this month of personal change by reflecting on how often you’re feeling anxious on a given day, in a given week, or even a month.
Between the spectrum of feeling a little anxious every now and then, and debilitate chronic anxiety, where do you think you’re at? Grab a journal or a text app and start writing down your thoughts.
Figure that out and then decide if this challenge could be helpful, or if you need more help.
If you’re on the fence, give it a chance and see how it goes. You may not feel like you need to change at all, but I promise you that in this day and age we can all benefit from a little less stress & anxiety and more relaxation, am I right?
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Welcome to a brand new 30 Day Overcoming Anxiety Challenge here at QueenBeeing. Anxiety is a real issue for survivors of narcissistic abuse, and since it’s so serious, I’ve decided to create a new series on how we can overcome it.
During the next 30 days, it’s my goal is to inform you about what causes anxiety, what happens to your body and your mind when you get anxious, and most importantly what you can do to reduce your anxiety. In fact, the bulk of this challenge will be spent working on anxiety reduction and I encourage you to follow along and give each tip and idea a try that day and going forward.
We’re going to start by talking a little more about what anxiety is and how it can affect you during the first few days. While the simple act of reading more about anxiety may cause you anxiety in the beginning, it’s important to get the whole picture, so bear with me here. I promise this will help you down the road to implement the suggestions for reducing anxiety and get better at noticing what helps and what doesn’t.
While you may not want to read or talk about anxiety, there’s something to be said about facing the issue head-on. In most cases, if we’re already clear of the narcissist or are prepared to be, what we’re really anxious about is either uncertainty (fear of the unknown, for example). When we don’t understand what’s going on or don’t have a clear picture of what the future holds we get anxious. That’s why these first few days are important.
Let’s talk about anxiety.
Anxiety is a normal state of mind. Every single human being experiences anxiety from time to time. It’s nature’s way of motivating us to get our butt in gear or anticipate and react to a potential or future threat.
In ancient times, we needed our anxiety. Without getting anxious about the long, dark winter, we wouldn’t be motivated to put up food stores. And even now, it can be helpful. For example, without being anxious about an exam, our kids wouldn’t make the time to study instead of hanging out with friends.
Some degree of anxiety can be a good thing, even if it doesn’t always feel great.
The problems arise when we are anxious too much and too often like we tend to be in the case of living with or dealing with a toxic narcissist.
Plus, the fast-paced world we live in with its many demands on our time and attention, and the constant exposure to stimuli can cause our anxiety to spiral out of control. This can be a big problem.
When we experience anxiety, certain hormones like adrenalin are released into the body. Our heart rate goes up, our breathing increases, and we get ready for a fight or flight response. It’s all perfectly normal if you get anxious every once in a while.
As the threat is dealt with or goes away, the body slowly but surely calms back down.
But what happens when you are in a constant state of anxiety? What happens when you get anxious more and more frequently as many of us do?
The body has no chance to calm down.
We’re constantly on high alert.
Our bodies have to pump more and more adrenalin and cortisol into our system.
We stay wound up and anxious longer and longer. This puts a lot of chronic stress on the body and mind.
That’s the type of anxiety we’re going to work towards reducing. It’s not about never feeling anxious again. It’s about finding and restoring balance, health, and wellbeing. I hope you join me in this challenge over the coming 30 days. Read each post, try the suggestions and tips, and pay attention to how you feel. Just be sure to check in here daily, or sign up for our free email newsletter to get posts in your in box.
Here are some thoughts on how we can rewire our brains after narcissistic abuse.
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