One of the hardest things we go through as survivors of narcissistic abuse is letting go of the negativity when we move forward in our lives. So often, I hear survivors tell me that they can’t seem to let go of the feelings of dread, sadness and confusion after the toxic relationship ends. One easy way we can start to move toward being happier and more positive is to focus on intentional vibration management – as in, speaking, thinking and doing only things that are toward our highest good and toward our true divine desires.
That means we have to let go of the need to complain – or at least to cut down on it. This means rather than focusing on what we DON’T want, we turn away from it and only focus on what we DO want.
So how do you do it?
Cutting down on your complaining is something that will take practice. We’re not all naturally inclined to lean toward the positive. In fact, it’s easier for our brains to fall into patterns of negative thinking than to look on the bright side of things. You may wonder how you can begin to become a more positive person. It takes time and intentional practice. I’d like to give you some ideas on ways to shift your focus toward positivity. Once you begin to do that, you’ll start to find positive thinking comes more naturally and with ease.
Ditch Negative Influences – Let’s start with one of the toughest suggestions I have to offer, and that’s to get rid of negative people in your life. Cutting people off is difficult and painful. It’s hard to sever a connection with someone who may have been important to you, but allowing toxic people to bring you down with their constant negativity is harmful to yourself. Ultimately, it may be better for you to put yourself and your own needs first. If you can’t eliminate a negative person from your life completely, at least make an effort to spend less time around them. Once you do, you’ll probably feel like a weight has lifted from you and being positive will come easier. You can always reevaluate things later.
Smile – Yes, a simple gesture like smiling can turn your whole attitude around. It’s hard to feel cranky when you’re smiling. Give it a shot. Smile at strangers on the street or colleagues in the hallway at work. A good mood tends to follow a genuine smile, both your own and the recipient’s. Smiles really are contagious.
Look Forward – Set some goals for yourself. Being able to look ahead to the future with hope and anticipation will do wonders for your outlook. When we’re feeling stuck in a rut, it’s far easier to let things bring us down. These goals can be personal, professional or something else entirely. Just be sure it’s an objective that excites you in order to keep your motivation and your spirits high.
Brighten Your Surroundings – If you want to lift your mood and perk up your thinking, it could really help to brighten your surroundings a bit. The things you see around you have an impact on how you feel. If you want to feel more positive, add some uplifting elements to your atmosphere. You can do this by making sure your office desk always has fresh flowers on it or by adding some fun dŽcor to your home. This small lift can go far to turning your mood around.
Step Outside Yourself – Finally, sometimes you have to get out of your own way and out of your own head if you want to change your perspective. One awesome way to do that is to help others. It can be in a small, informal way or by throwing yourself into a big project. Whether it’s offering assistance to your overworked colleague or starting a huge philanthropic campaign, helping others can totally change your negative attitude.
Hopefully, these tips will help you to bring some sunshine into your life. Perhaps you can build upon them and find ways that are personal and meaningful to push you along the path to positivity.
Wow! Can you believe how fast these 30 days have flown? We’ve reached the end of the 30 Day Overcoming Anxiety Challenge, and I sincerely hope you’re feeling more in control of your anxious mind and that you’ve gained a toolkit of real strategies you can use to feel better despite occasional bouts of anxiety.
We’ve covered a ton of information in this short 30 days. You may need to go back through it to remember some of the advice and action steps. That’s okay. In fact, it’s really a smart idea to review the information from time to time so that you can keep your favorite strategies at your fingertips for use when you need them most.
No matter how much anxiety you’re facing, there are things you can do all by yourself to lessen it. Seeing a mental health professional is also recommended if you need expert guidance and support to handle your level of discomfort. But knowing that you have the power to lessen your own discomfort related to stress, anxiety or overwhelm is pretty darn empowering.
You’ve learned what anxiety is, the ways it affects your brain and how to recognize it. That’s all a great foundation for understanding this toxic condition that can take hold of our lives. You also now understand the impact anxiousness can have on your job, relationships and overall happiness. It’s serious business.
You don’t have to feel overwhelmed, though, because you now know several coping mechanisms for diminishing those awful feelings that come along with anxiety. You can recognize it creeping up on you and know how to frame it in a realistic way. Strategies like deep breathing, exercising, visualization and eating well are things that can be used to maintain a more positive frame of mind with higher energy levels and to stop anxiety in its tracks when it catches you off guard.
Using calming techniques, taking control of your finances and environment, practicing gratitude and beating procrastination are also active methods to reduce anxiety. Finally, please remember that you don’t have to face anxiety and stress on your own. Rely on your support network to help you through the tough times.
Get out there and be social, even when you feel overwhelmed by the world. As social creatures, we need to be around others. Let them help you, make you smile and heal you. Giving of yourself to others is also a way to lessen your fears and put things into perspective.
Which of these 30 days of exercises has resonated with you the most? Which seem like they will fit into your lifestyle and mesh with your personality?
These are the ones you should add to your anxiety toolkit first. When a strategy makes sense to you, it will be easier to implement. Once you begin to gain confidence and feel that you can impact the way you’re feeling, add some other techniques to the mix. Keep what works. Toss what doesn’t, after giving it a fair shot and practicing the method for a bit. I truly hope you feel more control over your anxiety and are ready to face the world with more confidence, peace and enthusiasm.
We all want to be happy – and if you ask me, this is especially true for narcissistic abuse survivors – we’ve been through hell and we deserve it!
And, of course, striving for happiness is part of the human condition. But it doesn’t always feel easy for survivors. And that’s why I think we need to dig into this a little bit deeper.
The Universal Law of Attraction states that “like attracts like.” So, every time you feel grateful for something in your life, you put out that grateful energy into the universe. At least that’s the theory.
“Here’s the problem. Most people are thinking about what they don’t want, and they’re wondering why it shows up over and over again.” ~John Assaraf
So, if you knew that how grateful you are in life were to contribute to your overall happiness, wouldn’t you try to bring more graciousness into your everyday existence? I know I would – and I did. As a matter of fact, since making it a habit to be grateful for the good things, people and situations in my own life, I’ve found myself to be much more satisfied, even happy, from day to day. Let me show you what I mean.
Gratitude and Contentment
An attitude of gratitude is a powerful thing. It goes back to how your brain develops patterns of connections that work to develop certain habits. When you’re grateful and positive about life, this loop begins to repeat in your mind. Unfortunately, our brains are hardwired for the negative. Therefore, it takes a concerted effort to overcome natural instincts toward pessimism and complaint. Being grateful and acknowledging what you have helps to do just that and to build the contentment so many of us seek.
Happiness goes beyond contentment. It’s not simply being satisfied and expands to feeling fulfilled. One who is happy with their life possesses a range of emotions that transcends the various aspects of their existence. When you’re happy, you experience that state and emotion throughout your personal and professional life. You feel it even when every little thing isn’t perfect. It is a feeling of overall life satisfaction. Being happy has been shown to be beneficial to our overall wellbeing. Mental and physical health are improved through attaining this state, and even your immune system gets a boost when you’re happy.
Ways to Cultivate Gratitude
If gratitude leads to contentment, which then can result in the overarching state of happiness, it would seem crucial that we begin to understand ways to cultivate gratitude. There are lots of ways you can consciously work toward being more grateful for all the good you possess.
Personally, my favorite way is intentional gratitude: take a few minutes each morning to think of 10 things you’re grateful for (and 3 things you love about yourself – we’re survivors of toxic relationships and we need the boost!).
A few more suggestions:
One of the most proven and successful is to write in a gratitude journal each night before going to bed. List three to five things that you are thankful for. It’s best if you choose specific occurrences from your day, but it’s okay to repeat some general items from day to day.
Spending time with your loved ones and engaging in self-care are other good ways to bring about feelings of gratefulness. When you’re with those you love, you get a rush of the feel-good hormones that help you to see how fortunate you are in life.
Taking care of yourself by eating well, going for a walk or otherwise treating yourself once in a while can boost your mood of gratitude when you begin to get complacent in life.
Being grateful boosts happiness through regular bouts of contentment. You’ll begin to notice this impact when you start to practice being grateful. As with other skills, embracing gratitude takes time and repetition. Soon, you’ll begin to feel comfortable leaning into this newfound habit.
This video may also help you to change your vibe when you’re feeling miserable!
Today I have another great coping strategy to share with you. It’s deceptively simple, but quite effective. Whenever you find yourself anxious about something that’s about to happen, or might happen in the future ask yourself: “What’s The Worst That Could Happen?”
It may seem too simple, or even a little silly but it works like a charm every single time. When you start to worry or are getting too anxious about something stop and start to imagine in great detail what the worst possible outcome could be. If everything that could go wrong, would go wrong, what would happen? Chances are that the worst that could happen isn’t all that bad.
Let’s say you’re anxious about getting up in front of a group of peers to make a speech. The worst that could happen is that you mess up and stumble over your words. You might not get a big round of applause and may end up with a red face. It’s not the end of the world and since you’re no longer in middle school you don’t have to worry about being teased about it.
Keep running through these little mental scenarios anytime you start to worry and get anxious. This simple little mental exercise puts you back in control. You decide what the worst possible outcome is and then take control of your own actions.
By asking yourself what the worst possible outcome would be, you’re looking at the problem from a different angle. You’re facing your fear and suddenly you’re not anxious about the unknown anymore. It becomes a known quantity and it allows you to decide if this worst-case scenario is worth the risk of going for it.
Nine times out of ten, the worst case scenario is less frightening than the anxiety about the unknown. Most of the time it will be something you can easily live with. Best of all, it’s a quick and easy way of reducing anxiety. Try it and see for yourself how well this works whenever you’re anxious about a future event.
If you’ve been following along with our 30-day Overcoming Anxiety Challenge, I hope you’re starting to feel positive about the ways you can take control of your anxiety through some simple life modifications. These changes can reduce the intensity and regularity of your anxious feelings, for sure. Sometimes, though, a burst of nervousness or panic can hit you out of nowhere.
There are various relaxation exercises that can help in times like these. One of these is to use the power of visualizing to your advantage. Keep reading to discover just what this strategy is and what’s involved in using visualization to calm down.
The idea of visualization exercises can seem a bit intimidating at first. It involves actively picturing yourself in a place that is soothing and relaxing to you.
Essentially putting yourself in different surroundings is a powerful method to trick your mind into believing you are in a safe space that makes you feel happy and at peace. It’s a way to self-soothe or calm yourself when you need it.
Let’s break down the steps involved in an ideal visualization session.
The first and most important step is to choose your safe place. It can be a real spot you’ve visited in the past or even somewhere close to you that you encounter regularly. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be somewhere you’ve physically experienced or one that exists in reality. This is an exercise in imagination, after all.
If you’re a creative person, you may want to bring a whole new world to life in your mind, an ideal place that would delight all of your senses. Make your visualized space personal in as many ways possible in order to receive the greatest effects. The space you create should be the one you always go to in your mind when you need to calm yourself quickly, so make sure it resonates with you strongly.
When actually putting visualization into practice, you want to find a spot that’s comfortable. Doing so will make it much easier to take your mind where it needs to go.
If suddenly finding yourself in a crowd has brought on a bit of a panic attack, seek out a place to retreat like a semi-empty coffee shop or even a locked restroom in a pinch. Make yourself as comfortable as you can before imagining your special space. Then close your eyes and start to think of yourself truly being there. Think about the sights and sounds around you.
Consider why this spot makes you feel good, and embrace those feelings. Surround yourself with as many details as your mind can summon and let yourself embrace each of them. Be mindful of your body’s state at the moment. Feel the tension release from your individual muscles.
If anxious thoughts begin to creep in, picture yourself actually removing or destroying them. You can visualize the anxiety as a dark cloud that is banished by a ray of sunlight or some other physical object that you can rid yourself of.
Visualization can be a powerful technique for taking control of your anxiety the minute it strikes. With some practice and an open mind, you’ll find yourself in control of your anxious feelings and enjoying this quick mental retreat.
Here is a simple and quick meditation to try today.