Anxiety After Leaving an Abusive Relationship
Posted: September 1, 2021
You did it! This hard, intense, and quite frankly, dangerous thing.
Leaving an abusive relationship is not easy. It takes courage, planning, and support. You likely spent time ensuring the details worked out to maximize your freedom and reduce risk. You may have done this major life transition on your own. Or, with friends, family, or with the help of a professional advocate. Regardless, you have done something amazing. Honor that!
Now, you may be wondering what’s next. Things feel uncertain. Unclear. And, that feels scary. Of course, you know you’re a fighter. A survivor. An overcomer. But, how do you cope with that lingering, base level, pit of your stomach anxiety that creeps up and steals your joy? How do you deal with the anxiety of new freedoms when the recent things you’ve done were always dictated to you? Then, of course, the dreaded question about what if your ex comes back into the picture somehow. Will your safety plan work? Will it be enough?
Anxiety after leaving an abusive relationship is very normal
Your anxiety is a protective mechanism your body has built. That feeling of high alert has served you well in your abusive relationship. But, it’s no longer necessary. At least, not in the same way. In fact, lowering these levels of stress helps your body dump extra, unneeded cortisol. Thus, helping increase your well-being as a whole. So, what can you do? Here are some proven tips for decreasing the feelings and symptoms of anxiety in your body.
How to Reduce Anxiety After Leaving An Abusive Relationship
Of course, there are a ton of different ways to reduce anxiety in your body. So, here are a few of my go-to tips and methods to help you achieve a baseline sense of calm.
Ground yourself in the present moment
Give yourself clear, current, concrete things to focus on so that you can refocus on the way things are right now. One way to do this is the 3-3-3 method for curbing anxiety. First, look around and name three things you see. Then, get quiet and name three things you hear. Finally, move three parts of your body. This method engages your senses and brain in a productive way to pull you back into the present moment. This allows you to interrupt stress and anxiety building before they overtake you. A “reset button” of sorts!
Grounding techniques are very useful at the moment. But, a daily or regular mindfulness practice can also help. Learning how to rely on your breath, and using your breath for calm, is a skill many of us could use more of. It sounds so simple, and yet, we so often forget to access this consistent tool. There are many books, podcasts, and YouTube channels for daily mindfulness exercises and meditations. One thing to know is that you do not have to have a strict, daily practice to enjoy the benefits of mindfulness. Of course, the more diligent you are, the easier each of these tools will be to access when you need them!
Consider a physical “release” for your anxiety and stress
We all know that being physically active in some way is good for us. And, it is a great way to release endorphins and positive adrenaline for a person’s body!
You may consider some conventional activities like:
- Other sports
But, you can also get creative if you want! The recent popularity of “smash rooms” and axe throwing houses may help relieve stress. They can also help you feel powerful in a safe and contained environment. Of course, please consult with your primary care provider before starting any new physical activity.
Consider talking to a professional for anxiety treatment
While there are so many ways to help manage anxiety, it may still feel like far too much. Poor self-esteem, depression, and panic disorders to name a few are best dealt with by a professional. You have already done so much to prove the amazingly strong and independent woman you are. I would love to help you heal and move forward!
Begin Anxiety Treatment in North Carolina and FL
Overcoming the effects of an abusive relationship takes time. I can help you from my North Carolina-based online counseling practice. I’ve helped many clients cope with their anxiety. I also take Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Cigna, and the North Carolina state health plan as insurance. To start your counseling journey, follow these simple steps:
- Email me at [email protected]
- Begin feeling more at peace!
Other Services Offered with Michele Seeley LCMHC:
Anxiety treatment isn’t the only service I offer at my North Carolina-based counseling practice. In addition, I also offer individual relationship counseling, depression counseling, and self-esteem counseling. My online therapy services are available to anyone living in North Carolina and Florida. For more information, please visit my FAQ page, or blog!