Self-Help Tips for Controlling Panic Attacks in Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

Self-Help Tips for Controlling Panic Attacks in Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

How To Control Panic Attacks (For Toxic Relationship Survivors) – The AWARE Method for Overcoming Panic Attacks (Actionable Self-Help Tips)

All of us experience anxiety from time to time but this is especially true for people who have been in toxic relationships with narcissists. And, it’s tougher when it evolves into a full anxiety attack or a panic attack. This is something that most of us will experience at some time in our lives and that can ultimately become crippling as you worry that heading out into public spaces could result in fainting, or that falling asleep could trigger an episode.

Fortunately, there are ways to treat panic attacks and with the right approach, these methods can be highly effective at getting the problem under control and even preventing them altogether. One such option is to use the ‘AWARE’ strategy.

What is AWARE?

AWARE is an acronym that stands for:

  • Acknowledge and Accept
  • Wait and watch
  • Actions to make yourself comfortable
  • Repeat
  • End

Each of these parts is described in detail in this video.

The key to this is essentially to accept that the attack is happening and not to try and ‘fight it’. Instead, you simply acknowledge it and then ‘watch’ it as you go about your business as usual. The very best way to fight a panic attack? To continue acting as though it’s not happening.

When you first notice a panic attack begin, you will find that the symptoms can be somewhat similar to what you imagine a heart attack to be like.

As you may expect, this in itself can be a highly distressing prospect and actually creates much more anxiety. Other people are actually afraid of anxiety attacks themselves because they dislike the experience so much.

Thus it’s common to start worrying about the panic attack itself as well as whatever triggered it. It’s this subsequent panic that can lead to escalation and ultimately result in the individual passing out of collapsing.

And this, in turn, is why it’s so important not to try and ‘combat’ the effects of a panic attack through sheer will. Instead, by ignoring the panic attack, by recognizing it for what it is and by being comfortable and allowing it to run its course you can actually find that it goes away much more quickly. What’s more, is that once you lose the fear of the symptoms, it will eventually stop happening altogether.

Of course, it is still important to try and remove yourself from any potential danger – which may mean pulling over if you are driving or removing yourself from a public space. Be sure to see your doctor before using any self-help tips you find here or anywhere on the internet.

End Rumination Now: Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

End Rumination Now: Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

Going through a toxic relationship with a narcissist leaves many of us unable to stop overthinking everything. We get stuck in rumination. Do you find yourself spending too much time overthinking and not enough time getting things done?

Rumination and overthinking is common, especially when making decisions. Overthinking wastes time and lowers your confidence. The most successful people make decisions quickly and stick with them. The less successful take too long to decide and quickly change their mind afterward.

You might think that you’re being responsible and cautious by taking your time to decide, but you’re shooting yourself in the foot. There’s no evidence to suggest that ruminating excessively on a decision results in a better outcome.

Make up your mind and get on with your life:

1. List the advantages and disadvantages. Write them down. There’s something magical about taking pen to paper when making decisions. By the time you’re done, you’ll have a better idea of the right direction to take.

2. Be aware of your core values. Decisions are more quickly and easily made when you know your core values. When you consider a choice, test it against your core values. Often, these choices aren’t the easiest, but are in your best interests.

3. Remember that you can always change your mind. There are few, if any, decisions you must stick with until your funeral. Just knowing that you can change your mind later can give you the comfort needed to decide. It’s not possible to predict the future with 100% accuracy anyway.

4. Avoid paralysis by analysis. Overanalyzing doesn’t lead to better results. It leads to inactivity and confusion. The Special Forces have a rule that you only need to be 70% certain to act. You might not be in the military, but the same general concept applies. Often, the window of opportunity closes before the last 30% of the information can be gathered.

5. Think both short-term and long-term. Ideally, an option exists that satisfies both criteria. Ask yourself if you’ll be happy with your decision in 15 minutes and in 15 years. Any decision that meets both requirements is a great decision.

6. Stay busy. Those that overthink often have the luxury of too much free time. Busy people make decisions quickly because they don’t have the time to brood over every decision. Be more active in general. You’ll find it easier to make decisions in a timely fashion. Exercise is one way to stay busy. You don’t overthink when your body is tired.

7. Use your experience to your advantage. You’ve made plenty of poor choices over the years. It would be a shame to allow them to go to waste. Consider whether you’ve been in a similar situation in the past. You might gain some great insight.

8. Use a timer to make decisions. Most decisions don’t require weeks, or even days, to make. A couple of hours is more than sufficient most the time. Use a timer and put some focus on the issue. When you hear the alarm, it’s time to decide. A timer is an effective way to narrow your focus.

9. A good decision now beats a great decision later. What are you waiting for? Success is more about making decent decisions and working hard than it is about making awesome decisions. Avoid overestimating the value of perfection and underestimating the value of the activity.

Avoid overanalyzing every little decision. You’re limiting your results in life if you spend too much time making decisions. Be clear on your values and consider using a timer. You don’t make better decisions by overthinking them. You just waste time. Use that time to execute your decisions. You’ll be more successful.

 

When You Feel ‘the Shift’ in Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

When You Feel ‘the Shift’ in Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

See full video.

Throughout the course of my recovery from a toxic relationship with a narcissist, I have found myself experiencing several shifts in mindset – moments where it felt almost like some sort of switch had been flipped – where I suddeNly understood things differently and recognized that I had been wrong all along in some way or another. Each time, I found myself evolving and growing in new ways.

For example, I have told you the story of how, after a profound betrayal by my toxic family, I almost literally felt something break inside me. That was one of those moments.

A couple of years later, I found myself in a very unexpected moment of anger one day. Through the process of my inner child work, I had managed to recognize that I wasn’t the complete waste of skin that I had been led to believe I was. You would think that would make me happy, and it did, eventually.

But when I recognized how much of my life had been wasted believing that I was worthless – and that it was directly caused by the fact that I had allowed other people’s opinions of me to become my own opinion – and on some level my own reality?

I was incredibly angry. I felt, perhaps for the first time in my life, what I call justified rage. That moment would lead to another one of those “light switch” moments where my perception was suddenly shifted and I launched into a whole new period of personal evolution.

And then there was the birth of my oldest child – which led me to have a shift in my understanding of my relationship with my father, for reasons I won’t go into today. The birth of my youngest child, and only girl, caused a different shift in me – it led me to recognize a connection with the generations of women who came before me.

And it made me start digging into my family history and genealogy – because since I couldn’t feel connected to my mother, I felt the need to feel connected to the other women who came before me in a whole new way. I could go on for hours about the little “shifts” that have led me to this particular point in my personal development and evolution, but I won’t.

Today we are here to talk about you and your own personal evolution. We are discussing The Shift vs. Profound Metamorphosis in Our Evolution after narcissistic abuse.

I found this quote a while back. It reads:

“As you are shifting you will begin to realize you are not the same person you used to be. The things you used to tolerate have now become intolerable. Where you once remained quiet you are now speaking your truth. Where you once battled and argued you are now choosing to remain silent. You are beginning to understand the value of your voice and there are some situations that no longer deserve your time energy and focus.” ~Unknown

It spoke to me on a soul level. In fact, I did realize I wasn’t the person I had been before. And I was no longer tolerating the same crap I once did. And clearly, I am now speaking my truth.

I had also stopped bothering to argue with people who would refuse to hear or understand me – I was saving my energy and my voice for things and people that actually DO deserve my time and focus. People like YOU.

Here’s the thing -THIS is why I do what I do. Because even if you’re not ready to say goodbye to the problems (or problem people) in your life, you will personally shift as you learn about what you’re dealing with and as you’re learning about yourself.

The shift thing, though – that’s real. And maybe I never even considered it a shift before. Maybe I saw it as something fancier – a metamorphosis or a profound transformation.

But it all begins with this one thing – it’s a shift. A shift in your mindset. A shift in your thought patterns. A shift in your personal awareness and a shift in the deepest part of your soul. It’s a shift in your energy. Yes, it becomes a metamorphosis. YES, it turns into a profound transformation. But without the shift – well, it never begins, does it?

As you shift, you become less and less tolerant of things that tarnish your energy and corrode your life – and over time, you raise your standards. Slowly but surely, you grow in confidence and understanding of yourself. Bit by bit, step by step.

If you’re in a toxic relationship with a narcissist at this time, you find that before long, you KNOW you have to change if you ever want to be happy and to grow. But once that shift is underway, a powerful and sometimes shocking thing happens. You SEE the problem, and you KNOW the solution. Things have never been clearer!

Now it’s time to shine because you are about to create something better. Something new. Come hell or high water, you will start taking care of yourself as your mother SHOULD have, and you will become your own fiercest advocate. And this is when, even when it seems impossible, you figure out a way to make the obvious solution become a reality.

THAT is the shift, right?

As we go through the healing process, we learn first that we have the problem, then we understand the “mechanics” of it.

Eventually, the psychology, the behaviors and at some point, it all comes together for us and we recognize the depth of it. Then, and in my opinion, ONLY then, can we really begin to evolve – to shift – and to become the truest, fullest versions of ourselves.

 

Tired of Being a People-Pleaser? Try this.

Tired of Being a People-Pleaser? Try this.

Are You a People-Pleaser? This is How You Cure the Disease to Please

Going through a toxic relationship with a narcissist often leads to a very unhealthy habit: people-pleasing. How many times have you not followed your heart because you were worried about what other people might think? How often have you avoided doing something you truly wanted to do because you couldn’t stand the idea that other people would judge you?

Have you based your major life choices on your own desires, or have you allowed other people to influence you? Do you have regrets because you have given someone else the power to make decisions in your life, whether directly or indirectly? Have you chosen your job, a partner or your home because someone else thought you should?

Most everyone has, at one time or another, made a choice in their lives that was based on someone else’s opinion. And while there are certainly times when it’s appropriate to do so, there are plenty of times that we regret not following our own intuition.

The difference is this: when you accept the advice of someone else because you feel that it’s right for you, you’re following your own gut and can consider it inspired action–but when you bend to someone else’s will to please them (despite your own feelings), you’re shortchanging yourself in the happiness department.

It’s human nature to care what other people think. From infancy, we learn that when we do what someone else wants us to do, they’re happy with us–and that feels good. As we get older and learn to make the occasional unpopular decision, we are sometimes shocked to learn that some people actually seem to stop being nice to us when we don’t follow their “advice” for living.

But ultimately, we care what people think because we are taught to base our identities on the messages they give us. When our parents tell us we’re good for following their rules, for example, we begin to feel that we need to follow the rules to be good. When our teachers scold us for coloring outside the lines, we begin to feel that unless we “stay inside the lines,” we’re wrong.

We take the messages that we hear from others about ourselves every day of our lives, and we internalize them–to such an extent that we find ourselves dependent on the approval of others for our own self-worth.

In this video, we’re going to talk about how to stop being a people-pleaser (right now) and how to stop caring what people think. If you are always people-pleasing and you’re sometimes accused of having people-pleaser syndrome, this video is for you.

This is How You Decide Who You Are After Narcissistic Abuse

This is How You Decide Who You Are After Narcissistic Abuse

“We must not allow other people’s limited perceptions to define us.” ~Virginia Satir

After you go through a toxic relationship with a narcissist, you are very likely to have an impaired ability to see yourself clearly. Thanks to months, years or even decades of conditioning, you probably have a very damaged self-perception. But it’s time for you to take another look at your amazing self and see the truth.

You’re much better than you’ve been giving yourself credit for – and it’s time you recognize, accept and embrace your greatness. Stick with me – let’s work together to change your self-perception, one baby-step at a time. I promise you, this will change everything.

How To Change Your Self Perception (After a Toxic Relationship)

Try these 7 tips and techniques on how to change your self-perception after a toxic relationship if you’ve ever wondered:

Well..this one’s for you! This video contains 7 powerful tips and techniques on how to change your self-perception after a toxic relationship.

1. Your previous beliefs and knowledge can prevent you from gaining new knowledge. If you think you know something already, you won’t be open to new views. Knowledge is great, but when it gets in the way of learning something new, it’s poison.

2. Ask more questions. Be curious.

3. Pretend that you’re a beginner.

4. Determine if your beliefs are truths, or merely just beliefs. Beliefs are personal, often unprovable, and often no more correct than another belief. Truths don’t require constant validation. For example, gravity is a truth.

5. Where did your belief come from?

6. Let go of your identity. Our identities are largely built around our beliefs.

7. What is the cost of your beliefs? Some beliefs come with a heavy price. Look at your beliefs and consider the impact they are having on you.

Clutter as a Symptom of Narcissistic Abuse

Clutter as a Symptom of Narcissistic Abuse

Are you living in clutter? One of the least-discussed symptoms of CPTSD as a result of a toxic relationship with a narcissist is the way you keep your space – your home and/or office. This can take one of two forms: extreme organization and obsessively clean – or cluttered and disorganized. In both cases, there parallels we can draw to our pasts and our toxic relationships.

But when survivors are obsessively clean and organized, most people won’t see this as a negative issue (unless it gets to the point of OCD, but that is another video). Today, though, we are going to discuss clutter and how it is often a symptom of CPTSD, as well as some solutions you can try to resolve this in your own life.

Let’s start by discussing what problematic clutter looks like for those of us who aren’t sure if we fall into the “problem” area here. This video offers everything you need to know.

Signs Your Clutter is Out of Control

  • You feel uncomfortable at home due to clutter
  • You are told (or you say) that you have “too much stuff”
  • You feel embarrassed to let people into your house because of clutter
  • You feel kind of paralyzed and like you cant clean or organize due to all the “stuff” you have
  • Strong emotional attachments to some of the stuff in the house – certain items or collections
  • You waste a lot of time because of the clutter
  • You have piles or overstuffed shelves/drawers – maybe even a room you never let anyone in due to clutter
  • You want to declutter, but you feel like you have trouble deciding what to let go
  • You get more stuff – you keep shopping – despite the fact that you have no more places to put things
  • You get so overwhelmed that you rent a storage space to put your clutter into
  • You have problems at home, work or in relationships caused by cluttering
  • You have areas in the home that are unusable due to cluttering
  • You don’t really have a “place for everything,” therefore you don’t always put “everything in its place”

Narcissistic Abuse Can Cause You to Feel Stuck With Your Clutter

I remember seeing this episode of Oprah years ago where she talked about how your home is an external representation of your mind and your soul – this really struck home with me because there I was, living in a cluttered mess. And when I thought about it, I realized that she was right – something in me had been broken and it left me flailing. I didn’t know how to get out from under it, and every time I even considered trying, I would walk in, take one look and then turn around and walk out.

Here is the thing.

When we are in a toxic relationship, we have no control. Whether the narcissist dictates our cleaning schedule (like my first narcissist did) or they make us feel out of control in other ways (like my ex-husband did), we often find ourselves feeling stuck, lethargic or just plain exhausted during and after these relationships. We keep things for sentimental reasons, for example, or we keep them because we think we will use them one day. We might keep stuff because it helps us feel secure or in control in some way.

Some of us even have “organized clutter” – tons of boxes and bins, all labeled properly and stacked neatly – none of which we will ever use or need.

But in any case, we can look at clutter like extra weight in our lives – it’s overwhelming and feels impossible to drop, but when we begin to take one baby step at a time, we can drop both the weight and the clutter. (Often when we get control of the clutter, we also figure out how to get control of our weight).

The solution isn’t going to happen overnight but there are things we can do to change our ways for the better and improve our lives.

You already know that clutter can make you feel stressed and leave you less free time to enjoy your life. We know it can ruin our social lives and cause tons of other issues. But did you know that simple mindfulness can quickly allow you to cut through the clutter (even more than cleaning)?

Why We Can’t Let Go of Our Stuff

Most people hold on to clutter because they assign the possession some kind of emotional significance. For example, a broken toy might still be in the closet because it was the last toy that a loved one gave a person before they passed away. So the owner of the wagon associates the love with the wagon.

One of the reasons that so many people struggle to get rid of things, both physical and emotional, is because the decluttering process can be painful and overwhelming – especially when you look at it as a whole.

The Key to Letting Go and Decluttering After a Toxic Relationship

Mindfulness can help you get rid of clutter because it allows you to maintain your focus on one area or one issue at a time that needs to be dealt with. You’ll be able to simplify your life, keep what needs to be kept and let go of what you need to be free from.

Focus only on what truly matters to you. By using mindfulness to help you clear out the clutter, you’ll get rid of stress, too. The things we keep and the emotions we won’t let go of can be reminders of what was.

You might think that if you don’t address them, then you don’t have to deal with these things. But clutter hovers and you sense it in your subconscious. When you let mindfulness help you declutter your life, you’ll be able to maintain a better ability to focus in all areas of your life.

You’ll feel better emotionally when you let go of things. You’ll also be able to find things when you need them instead of searching and getting stressed when you can’t find something.

Plus, you won’t spend as much money buying things that you forgot that you already had. A big benefit of using mindfulness to let go of the clutter is that it does more than give you more room in your home or in your office.

It allows you to let go of the mental and emotional clutter so that you’re able to have more improved mindfulness, too. For the best results, go through every area of your life one portion at a time and clear out the clutter.

Practical Solutions for Decluttering After Narcissistic Abuse

1. Get some help! If you can afford it, pay someone to come over and help you get things organized. Or recruit your kids. Or offer to help a friend declutter their home and in return, ask them to help you declutter yours. It can be very overwhelming and sometimes just having a second set of hands makes all the difference.
2. Take baby steps. I have a free 30-day decluttering program over at Life Makeover Academy – go check that out and sign up. You don’t have to do it all in 30 days – but if you take the time to work through the steps when you can, your home will be decluttered by the end of the program.
3. If you’ve always found it too difficult because you think the task is too big, give yourself fifteen minutes a day to focus on the clutter. When you break a task down, you’ll find that it’s easier to do.

If you’ve personally managed to overcome a clutter habit, share your best tips and tricks in the YouTube comments section now!

Still struggling to declutter your home and life after narcissistic abuse? Try this free 30-day decluttering program at Life Makeover Academy!

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