Due to the traumatic nature of being abused by a narcissist, your emotions could be difficult to regulate. Your anxiety may be through the roof, depression could be getting ahold of you, you may be having flashbacks of difficult situations the narcissist put you through, or you could be overall emotionally numb.
First, I want to point out that these are all expected reactions due to going through narcissistic abuse. In this article I will recommend ways for you to regulate your emotions after enduring narcissistic abuse.
1. Grounding is a good way to decrease anxiety levels and get into the present moment. If you are experiencing high levels of anxiety, chances are you are in your head. Grounding is a way to connect with your body and get out of your head (that is spinning out of control with anxious thoughts.) Try taking off your shoes and planting your feet firmly on the floor. Notice the support the ground is giving you and imagine your feet connecting with the Earth. Place your hand on your heart and notice it beating in your chest. Recognize that your body is here for you and will help you get through the aftermath of the psychological abuse you have endured. Spend time in nature, spend time in water, spend time gardening.
2. Connect with a human who will empathize with you and listen to you share about your experience. Whether that be a close friend, family member, or therapist, talk to someone about what you have been through. Be sure this person is not a flying monkey before bearing your soul to them. Narcissist try to isolate you and cut you off from people you love when they abuse you. Establishing human connection with someone who loves and supports you will be critical to break out of isolation and process the pain the narcissist has put you through.
3. Listen to music that will help you process your pain and express your emotions. Music that you connect with releases dopamine in the brain, which are feel good chemicals that uplift your mood. When you listen to a song that really hits home, it will change your mood and uplift your soul. Even depressing music can change the way you feel if you strongly connect with the sounds and lyrics. When I was going through my process, listening to The Weekend really helped me process depression and pain.
4. Self-care can be exercised in a variety of ways. But some examples of self-care are setting boundaries, going no contact with the narcissist, joining a support group, moving on with your life, moving out, reading a self-help book, practicing yoga, getting regular massages, eating yummy food. It can be difficult to practice self-care when you are emotionally disregulated and going through a crisis situation. Try and pick at least one self-care practice mentioned above and stick with it. Over time you can add more self-care to your routine, and accelerate your healing process. The first step is always the hardest.
5. Emotional Freedom Technique- EFT or Tapping is an exercise you can do to signal to your amygdala that you are safe.
6. Delta Brain Waves - Doing things to promote delta brain waves can be helpful to calm your system and activate your parasympathetic nervous system. Meditate, calm music, us lavender oil, and practicing havening. Havening on the face promotes 90X more delta brain waves than sleeping.
The self-regulation techniques listed above are just a few ideas to get you started on your healing process. Recovering from narcissistic abuse is not quick process. It takes time, dedication, and courage to heal and move on. Need help with your process? Schedule a 15 minute consultation with me using the contact form below for support on your journey.