Being a trauma survivor is a tough journey, but it’s undeniably an empowering one. Those who have experienced narcissistic abuse can embark on a healing journey and complete it successfully. During this journey, they can learn how to take better care of themselves, heal their emotional wounds, and regain their confidence.
Here are 5 tips that can benefit the healing journey of people that have experienced narcissistic abuse:
1. HEAL THE MIND THROUGH THE BODY
It is vital that trauma or abuse survivors find one or several forms of physical outlet for the strong emotions of anger, sadness, and hurt that they are bound to feel after they leave the abusive relationship so as to fight the paralysis that trauma usually causes, leaving them feeling frozen and numb.
Whether it’s yoga, running, kickboxing, dance cardio, or walking in nature, they need to make sure they do it in order to let go of their negative emotions and feel more energized and confident.
2. POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS
To clear their mind from negative thoughts, because it has been undeniably affected by the derogatory comments they have received, any trauma survivor has to reprogram their brain and replace the negative, self-destructive thoughts that may pop into their head in their day-to-day life with positive ones. These negative thoughts damage their self-esteem and prevent them from embracing all the strength and power they have to heal themselves.
What many trauma survivors fail to realize is that these thoughts aren’t even their own. They’re actually the voices of their narcissistic abusers that continue to erode their self-esteem and make them feel like the abuse was their fault.
Saying positive affirmations aloud is a technique that can greatly help trauma survivors regain confidence and heal their emotional wounds. For instance, if one is insecure about their appearance, because their abuser constantly made derogatory comments about it, a positive affirmation, such as, “I’m not perfect, but no one is” or “My bodily imperfections don’t define who I am,” can interrupt the pattern of ruminating about such cutting and offensive remarks.
3. TURN THEIR PAIN INTO CREATIVITY
Art therapy is highly beneficial for survivors of narcissistic abuse since it enables them to release the pain and trauma in ways that allow them to create rather than ruminate over negative thoughts and keep themselves locked into the traumatic event.
Whether it is drawing, painting, writing, making crafts, or making music, transforming their pain into creativity, can be an empowering and life-changing experience for survivors of narcissistic abuse.
For trauma survivors that have PTSD or complex PTSD, taking time to meditate and observe their breath, whether it be for a couple of minutes or one hour, can be greatly helpful in managing their emotions and addressing negative thoughts that may keep them locked into the painful, traumatic event.
5. ASKING FOR HELP
Asking for help and support doesn’t make trauma survivors weak, powerless, or helpless. This is actually a recognition of their own mental strength and power to be able to ask for help and be willing to receive it.
Finding a support group or sharing their story with someone they’re close to and trust or a mental health professional who can meet their needs and determine what the appropriate therapy is for them can be very cathartic and healing for survivors of narcissistic abuse.