If you’re a survivor of narcissistic abuse, you may not realize how important it can be to be able to calm down and clear your head in the heat of the moment. During your toxic relationship, chances are you spent most of your time fending off the narcissist’s emotional abuse. You may not have even had time to deal with your own issues. But anxiety is no joking matter – and it can really negatively impact your health if you’re not careful.
That’s why today I want to share an often-underrated tool to help you calm down and get back to thinking clearly when you’re feeling particularly anxious: simple meditation.
Yes, I’m serious!
See, meditation can instantly calm down your overexcited nervous system and have you feeling more centered and ready to face whatever life throws at you. Even better? As helpful as it is in reducing anxiety on demand, it’s even more powerful when it comes to prevention.
Understanding the Effects of Anxiety on Your Brain
There are two components of anxiety that relate to the brain.
The first is those random thoughts and worries that keep running through your head, and making you feel anxious.
The second part is that as a trauma survivor dealing with stress and anxiety, you are using the amygdala, the part of your brain that’s associated with regulating emotions pretty often. In fact, it’s this area of the brain that lights up more on scans with people struggling with anxiety.
Why does this matter?
Since you are essentially rewiring your brain to increase activity in this area, you may think yourself into worse and worse anxiety. And, if you believe in the law of attraction, you may be unintentionally drawing that negative energy toward you in the process. But good news: meditation can help with both.
But remember: this isn’t the only thing we need to learn about anxiety, and it’s not the only component. And while meditation will greatly benefit you, it isn’t a cure-all.
That being said, meditation is simple to do and something that can be done by anyone. I encourage you to give it a try. If you find yourself struggling, it may be helpful to find a meditation teacher who can guide you through your first few sessions. This will help you calm your mind enough so you can continue to practice this ancient technique on your own going forward.
For many of us, listening to a good guided meditation, and simply practicing it daily is enough to see results. Here’s are a couple of examples:
You might prefer to start by reading up on the benefits of meditation and how to do it.
There are many different ways to start meditating. The easiest one to get started with is a short guided meditation. You can find online recordings, CDs, and even smartphone apps that will get you started.
Basic Recorded Meditation Tips
- Sit or lay comfortably, listen to the recording and follow the instructions.
- Don’t worry if your thoughts start to drift. Gently bring yourself back to the meditation. It’s surprisingly hard to focus on nothing but the meditation.
- Start with short sessions of 10 minutes or less. Once you get comfortable, you can extend your meditations as needed.
- The key to getting better at meditating and reaping the benefits of calming down those random thoughts and worries, as well as rewiring your brain to be less anxious in general, is daily practice.
- Get started, and then make it part of your daily routine.
Angela Atkinson is a Certified Life Coach and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic relationships since 2006, Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed coaching and has certifications in life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves.
Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. In her life coaching practice, Atkinson’s clients enjoy her personalized approach that allows and encourages them to become the best possible versions of themselves and to succeed in doing what they love most. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online and NarcissismSupportCoach.com.