This is a guide that tells you clearly how to recover from narcissistic abuse. They are techniques that I have learned myself and from others over my journey through recovery. First I am going to talk about the three stages following the abuse. The first stage is being a victim of narcissistic abuse. At this stage, you may have cognitive dissonance, two conflicting beliefs. You remember what the narcissist was like before they started abusing you and you wonder how could they be that kind, caring person and also an abuser? As a victim, you are going to feel hurt and confused. You may feel rejected if you were discarded by the narcissist. You may be in denial about all of the things they did to you. They managed to condition you to take responsibility for their actions. You may feel guilt and shame for allowing yourself to enter this kind of relationship. You may feel angry at yourself for wasting so much time on the narcissist. You may also feel victimized by your family and friends, who believe you are crazy because they are not educated on narcissistic abuse. You may be fearful of the future, financially, or your children. Fearful of the unknown future.
At stage two of your recovery from narcissistic abuse, you become a Survivor. At this stage, you may not be ready to forgive the narcissist. You may be struggling to rebuild your life. You may be seeking therapy or coaching. You may have difficulty trusting people. You may be realizing that there have been other narcissists in your life, in your past or present. You will be learning self-care and self-love. You may feel angry, though not as much as in the previous stage. You will still feel triggered by past events. But you will also be feeling hopeful. You will learn self-soothing techniques. You will uncover your childhood traumas, which led you to be in a relationship with the narcissist. You will rebuild your financial strength. You will develop a narcometer, a feeling in your solar plexus area, which is like an alarm when you are in the proximity of a narcissist.
At stage three you will become a Thriver. I'm not going to go into this stage now, as this video is about recovery. But I think it speaks for itself. Now I'm going to go into the specific techniques that will help you to recover from narcissistic abuse. At the beginning of your recovery, it is very important to grieve. Not for the person, you left at the end of the relationship, but for everything, they showed to you in the beginning. Remember that person, the image they portrayed to you. The mirroring and how they appealed to your own ideals. It was never real, but it seemed real to you. That fantasy you both created together. You will need to grieve over that person. You will need to identify any denial that you still feel. Any cognitive dissonance, identify what is right and what is wrong. You will feel angry. Allow yourself to feel this way. Allow yourself to feel whatever negative emotions you are feeling. But do not dwell on these emotions for long periods of time. Work on your self-esteem, self-worth, and self-belief. The narcissist stripped away these good qualities. But you can get them back through daily practice of some of the recovery techniques I am going to mention.
Practice deep breathing.
Inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds and then exhale for 8 seconds. This breathing exercise is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system. Do not do this too frequently. Do not do more than 4 breaths for the first month of practice. Do this breathing exercise 4 times. 3 times a day.
Feng Chi or GB20 is recommended for headaches, migraines, eye blurriness, fatigue, or cold/flu symptoms. To use acupressure on this point, locate the point at the base of the skull, with each thumb on either side of the bone. Use a deep, firm pressure towards the skull to massage and stimulate the area for five seconds. You can use this acupressure point while you are practicing the deep breathing exercise.
Practice Meditation or Guided Meditation.
Meditate on any traumatic events in your childhood or relationship. But create your own ending, a positive ending. This will gradually eliminate any pain you might otherwise feel and even the need for closure. Imagine how you would like it to end. Imagine your ideal family member or relationship partner. Giving you the attention, love, and acceptance that you required but never had.
Positive affirmations are spoken and often repeated. They are used to encourage and uplift you. Positive affirmations are the language of the brain. Make a list of any negative thoughts you may want to remove. Then make it a priority in your list to identify what it is you want to work on. Write a counter-argument to your negative thoughts. From this, you can create your positive affirmation. Repeat your positive affirmation daily for at least five minutes. Here are three examples: I am worthy. I am loveable. I am good enough.
Listen to relaxing music.
We all have a few feel-good songs that we like to listen to when we are feeling down. Relaxing music can be used as a form of therapy. Music therapy. Music therapy can help to relieve pain and reduce stress and anxiety. It can even result in physiological changes. Including improved respiration, lower blood pressure, improved cardiac output, reduced heart rate, and relaxed muscle tension.
You can practice aromatherapy using essential oils. Aromatherapy can improve your psychological and physical well-being.
Listen to motivational speakers' podcasts or on YouTube. Motivational speakers can motivate you to take action and make a difference in your life.
Ensure you have plenty of sleep. At least 7 hours of sleep every night. If you sleep on your side, place a pillow between your knees. It helps to support the natural curve of your spine. Try to sleep early. Sleeping early can help with weight loss, heart health, and improved job performance.
Drink plenty of high-quality water. Eat at least three portions of vegetables per day. And no more than 2 portions of fruit. Eat at least three meals with oily fish per week. Avoid foods that are high in sugar or salt.
Generally aim to do 30 minutes of moderate to intense cardio activity at least five days per week. If you prefer vigorous aerobic activity, at least 25 minutes, 3 days per week. Use any anger or frustration you feel from dealing with the narcissist to motivating you in your exercise. You could even try martial arts or get a punching bag. There is a long list of benefits from doing exercise, many of which will assist you in your recovery from narcissistic abuse. A health promotion consultant once said that "If exercise were a pill, it would be one of the most cost-effective drugs ever invented".
Develop conscious knowledge of your character and feelings.
Mindfulness is a psychological process, which involves bringing your attention to experiences occurring in the present moment. This can be developed through meditation. I like to practice self-awareness and mindfulness throughout the day. I will ask myself "how are you feeling?". Especially when I am doing something I like, I will ask myself, in my mind, how does that feel? When I have food, I like to smell the food first. When I put the food in my mouth, I always have questions in my mind which allow me to practice self-awareness and mindfulness. I might ask myself "how is this food seasoned?", "What is the texture like?", "How does it taste?". This helps to keep you in the moment and it can allow you to really enjoy your food, instead of just going through the motions.
That's the end of my list of techniques to recover from narcissistic abuse. I hope that they will assist you in your recovery. Recovery is not a quick process. Although it does depend on how long you were in the relationship and how severe the abuse was. I have read that it can take at least one year to recover from narcissistic abuse. That's if you are practicing these techniques every day. But don't see recovery as something you don't really want to do, you're just doing it because you want to recover. Actually enjoy the practice of the techniques. You will find that it can be very enjoyable and it will improve the quality of your life.