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.