Mindfulness Breathing For Scam Victims Recovery

Helping Scam Survivors experience the benefits of Mindfulness in their Recovery Journey

Scam Victim Recovery Psychology

Author:
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Mindfulness breathing exercises offer scam victims a pathway to recovery by addressing the psychological and emotional toll of their traumatic experiences. These exercises help to alleviate stress, regulate emotions, and foster self-awareness, concentration, and resilience.

By focusing on the present moment and observing the breath without judgment, victims can cultivate a sense of inner calm and compassion towards themselves. The step-by-step guide to mindfulness breathing includes finding a comfortable position, relaxing the body, bringing awareness to the breath, and embracing distractions without judgment.

Through consistent practice, scam victims can gradually develop mindfulness skills to navigate the challenges of recovery with greater ease and resilience. This approach is outlined in detail in the SCARS COBALT BOOK, providing practical tools and insights to support scam victims on their healing journey.

SCARS Scam Victim Support & Recovery Program

Mindfulness Breathing to help Scam Victims Recover from their Traumatic Scam Experience

Practicing mindfulness breathing exercises can help cultivate present-moment awareness, reduce stress, and promote relaxation.

How it Helps

Mindfulness breathing exercises can play a very important role in the recovery journey of scam victims by offering a variety of benefits:

  • Stress Reduction: Scam victims often experience heightened levels of stress, anxiety, and emotional turmoil. Mindfulness breathing exercises provide a simple yet effective way to reduce stress by activating the body’s relaxation response, leading to a sense of calm and tranquility.
  • Emotional Regulation: Scam victims may struggle with overwhelming emotions such as anger, fear, or sadness. Mindfulness breathing helps individuals regulate their emotions by creating space between the stimulus and the response, allowing them to respond more skillfully to challenging situations.
  • Increased Self-Awareness: Scam victims may feel disconnected from themselves and their emotions as a result of the trauma they’ve experienced. Mindfulness breathing exercises promote self-awareness by encouraging individuals to observe their thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations without judgment, fostering a deeper understanding of their inner experiences.
  • Improved Focus and Concentration: Scam victims often find it difficult to concentrate or focus due to intrusive thoughts or memories related to the scam. Mindfulness breathing exercises train the mind to stay present and focused on the breath, enhancing concentration and cognitive function.
  • Enhanced Resilience: Mindfulness breathing cultivates resilience by teaching individuals to navigate difficult emotions and challenges with greater ease and equanimity. By developing a sense of inner strength and resourcefulness, scam victims can bounce back more effectively from setbacks and adversity.
  • Better Sleep Quality: Many scam victims struggle with insomnia or disrupted sleep patterns due to stress and anxiety. Mindfulness breathing exercises promote relaxation and can help individuals fall asleep faster and enjoy more restful sleep, leading to improved overall well-being.
  • Greater Acceptance and Self-Compassion: Scam victims may experience feelings of self-blame, shame, or inadequacy in the aftermath of the scam. Mindfulness breathing fosters self-compassion and acceptance by encouraging individuals to approach themselves with kindness and understanding, regardless of their circumstances.

Overall, mindfulness breathing exercises provide scam victims with practical tools to cope with the psychological and emotional challenges of recovery, promoting healing, resilience, and well-being in the process.

Mindfulness Breathing Exercise Step-By-Step

Here’s a step-by-step guide to get started:

  1. Find a Comfortable Position: Start by finding a comfortable and quiet place where you can sit or lie down without distractions. You can choose to sit on a chair with your feet flat on the ground or sit cross-legged on a cushion. Alternatively, you can lie down on your back with your arms by your sides and your legs slightly apart.
  2. Relax Your Body: Close your eyes gently and take a moment to relax your body. Begin by releasing any tension you may be holding in your muscles, starting from your head and moving down to your toes. Let go of any tightness or stiffness, allowing your body to feel loose and comfortable.
  3. Bring Awareness to Your Breath: Shift your attention to your breath without trying to change it. Notice the natural rhythm of your breath as it flows in and out of your body. Pay attention to the sensation of the air entering and leaving your nostrils or the rising and falling of your chest and abdomen.
  4. Focus on the Inhalation: Direct your focus to the sensation of breathing in. Notice the coolness of the air as it enters your nostrils or the gentle expansion of your chest and abdomen. Stay fully present with each inhalation, observing the breath as it fills your body with oxygen and energy.
  5. Notice the Exhalation: Shift your attention to the sensation of breathing out. Notice the warmth of the air as it leaves your nostrils or the gentle contraction of your chest and abdomen. Stay fully present with each exhalation, observing the breath as it releases tension and stress from your body.
  6. Counting the Breath: To help anchor your attention, you can count your breaths. As you inhale, silently count “one” and as you exhale, silently count “two.” Continue counting each breath up to ten and then start again from one. If your mind wanders, gently bring your focus back to your breath and start counting again from one.
  7. Embrace Distractions: It’s natural for your mind to wander during mindfulness practice. When you notice your thoughts drifting away, acknowledge them without judgment and gently guide your attention back to your breath. Use each distraction as an opportunity to practice letting go and returning to the present moment.
  8. Practice Non-Judgment: Throughout the exercise, cultivate an attitude of non-judgmental awareness. Instead of labeling your thoughts as good or bad, simply observe them with curiosity and acceptance. Allow your thoughts and emotions to come and go without clinging to them or trying to suppress them.
  9. Gradually Lengthen Your Practice: Start with a few minutes of mindfulness breathing exercises and gradually increase the duration as you become more comfortable with the practice. Aim to practice for at least 10-15 minutes per day to experience the full benefits of mindfulness.
  10. End Mindfully: When you’re ready to conclude your practice, take a few deep breaths and gently open your eyes. Take a moment to notice how you feel physically, mentally, and emotionally. Reflect on any insights or observations that arose during your practice and carry this sense of mindfulness with you into the rest of your day.

Remember that mindfulness is a skill that develops over time with consistent practice. Be patient and compassionate with yourself as you explore mindfulness breathing exercises and discover what works best for you.

Portions From the new ‘SCARS COBALT BOOK’ available at shop.AgainstScams.org

Statement About Victim Blaming

Some of our articles discuss various aspects of victims. This is both about better understanding victims (the science of victimology) and their behaviors and psychology. This helps us to educate victims/survivors about why these crimes happened and to not blame themselves, better develop recovery programs, and to help victims avoid scams in the future. At times this may sound like blaming the victim, but it does not blame scam victims, we are simply explaining the hows and whys of the experience victims have.

These articles, about the Psychology of Scams or Victim Psychology – meaning that all humans have psychological or cognitive characteristics in common that can either be exploited or work against us – help us all to understand the unique challenges victims face before, during, and after scams, fraud, or cybercrimes. These sometimes talk about some of the vulnerabilities the scammers exploit. Victims rarely have control of them or are even aware of them, until something like a scam happens and then they can learn how their mind works and how to overcome these mechanisms.

Articles like these help victims and others understand these processes and how to help prevent them from being exploited again or to help them recover more easily by understanding their post-scam behaviors. Learn more about the Psychology of Scams at www.ScamPsychology.org

Important Information for New Scam Victims

If you are looking for local trauma counselors please visit counseling.AgainstScams.org or join SCARS for our counseling/therapy benefit: membership.AgainstScams.org

If you need to speak with someone now, you can dial 988 or find phone numbers for crisis hotlines all around the world here: www.opencounseling.com/suicide-hotlines

SCARS Resources:

Psychology Disclaimer:

All articles about psychology and the human brain on this website are for information & education only

The information provided in this and other SCARS articles are intended for educational and self-help purposes only and should not be construed as a substitute for professional therapy or counseling.

Note about Mindfulness: Mindfulness practices have the potential to create psychological distress for some individuals. Please consult a mental health professional or experienced meditation instructor for guidance should you encounter difficulties.

While any self-help techniques outlined herein may be beneficial for scam victims seeking to recover from their experience and move towards recovery, it is important to consult with a qualified mental health professional before initiating any course of action. Each individual’s experience and needs are unique, and what works for one person may not be suitable for another.

Additionally, any approach may not be appropriate for individuals with certain pre-existing mental health conditions or trauma histories. It is advisable to seek guidance from a licensed therapist or counselor who can provide personalized support, guidance, and treatment tailored to your specific needs.

If you are experiencing significant distress or emotional difficulties related to a scam or other traumatic event, please consult your doctor or mental health provider for appropriate care and support.

If you are in crisis, feeling desperate, or in despair please call 988 or your local crisis hotline.

PLEASE NOTE: Psychology Clarification

The following specific modalities within the practice of psychology are restricted to psychologists appropriately trained in the use of such modalities:

  • Diagnosis: The diagnosis of mental, emotional, or brain disorders and related behaviors.
  • Psychoanalysis: Psychoanalysis is a type of therapy that focuses on helping individuals to understand and resolve unconscious conflicts.
  • Hypnosis: Hypnosis is a state of trance in which individuals are more susceptible to suggestion. It can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including anxiety, depression, and pain.
  • Biofeedback: Biofeedback is a type of therapy that teaches individuals to control their bodily functions, such as heart rate and blood pressure. It can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including stress, anxiety, and pain.
  • Behavioral analysis: Behavioral analysis is a type of therapy that focuses on changing individuals’ behaviors. It is often used to treat conditions such as autism and ADHD.
    Neuropsychology: Neuropsychology is a type of psychology that focuses on the relationship between the brain and behavior. It is often used to assess and treat cognitive impairments caused by brain injuries or diseases.

SCARS and the members of the SCARS Team do not engage in any of the above modalities in relationship to scam victims. SCARS is not a mental healthcare provider and recognizes the importance of professionalism and separation between its work and that of the licensed practice of psychology.

SCARS is an educational provider of generalized self-help information that individuals can use for their own benefit to achieve their own goals related to emotional trauma. SCARS recommends that all scam victims see professional counselors or therapists to help them determine the suitability of any specific information or practices that may help them.

SCARS cannot diagnose or treat any individuals, nor can it state the effectiveness of any educational information that it may provide, regardless of its experience in interacting with traumatized scam victims over time. All information that SCARS provides is purely for general educational purposes to help scam victims become aware of and better understand the topics and to be able to dialog with their counselors or therapists.

It is important that all readers understand these distinctions and that they apply the information that SCARS may publish at their own risk, and should do so only after consulting a licensed psychologist or mental healthcare provider.

Opinions

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of the Society of Citizens Against Rleationship Scams Inc. The author is solely responsible for the content of their work. SCARS is protected under the Communications Decency Act (CDA) section 230 from liability.

Disclaimer:

SCARS IS A DIGITAL PUBLISHER AND DOES NOT OFFER HEALTH OR MEDICAL ADVICE, LEGAL ADVICE, FINANCIAL ADVICE, OR SERVICES THAT SCARS IS NOT LICENSED OR REGISTERED TO PERFORM.

IF YOU’RE FACING A MEDICAL EMERGENCY, CALL YOUR LOCAL EMERGENCY SERVICES IMMEDIATELY, OR VISIT THE NEAREST EMERGENCY ROOM OR URGENT CARE CENTER. YOU SHOULD CONSULT YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER BEFORE FOLLOWING ANY MEDICALLY RELATED INFORMATION PRESENTED ON OUR PAGES.

ALWAYS CONSULT A LICENSED ATTORNEY FOR ANY ADVICE REGARDING LEGAL MATTERS.

A LICENSED FINANCIAL OR TAX PROFESSIONAL SHOULD BE CONSULTED BEFORE ACTING ON ANY INFORMATION RELATING TO YOUR PERSONAL FINANCES OR TAX RELATED ISSUES AND INFORMATION.

SCARS IS NOT A PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR – WE DO NOT PROVIDE INVESTIGATIVE SERVICES FOR INDIVIDUALS OR BUSINESSES. ANY INVESTIGATIONS THAT SCARS MAY PERFORM IS NOT A SERVICE PROVIDED TO THIRD-PARTIES. INFORMATION REPORTED TO SCARS MAY BE FORWARDED TO LAW ENFORCEMENT AS SCARS SEE FIT AND APPROPRIATE.

This content and other material contained on the website, apps, newsletter, and products (“Content”), is general in nature and for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical, legal, or financial advice; the Content is not intended to be a substitute for licensed or regulated professional advice. Always consult your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider, lawyer, financial, or tax professional with any questions you may have regarding the educational information contained herein. SCARS makes no guarantees about the efficacy of information described on or in SCARS’ Content. The information contained is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible situations or effects. SCARS does not recommend or endorse any specific professional or care provider, product, service, or other information that may be mentioned in SCARS’ websites, apps, and Content unless explicitly identified as such.

The disclaimers herein are provided on this page for ease of reference. These disclaimers supplement and are a part of SCARS’ website’s Terms of Use

Legal Notices: 

All original content is Copyright © 1991 – 2023 Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. (Registered D.B.A SCARS) All Rights Reserved Worldwide & Webwide. Third-party copyrights acknowledge.

U.S. State of Florida Registration Nonprofit (Not for Profit) #N20000011978 [SCARS DBA Registered #G20000137918] – Learn more at www.AgainstScams.org

SCARS, SCARS|INTERNATIONAL, SCARS, SCARS|SUPPORT, SCARS, RSN, Romance Scams Now, SCARS|INTERNATION, SCARS|WORLDWIDE, SCARS|GLOBAL, SCARS, Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams, Society of Citizens Against Romance Scams, SCARS|ANYSCAM, Project Anyscam, Anyscam, SCARS|GOFCH, GOFCH, SCARS|CHINA, SCARS|CDN, SCARS|UK, SCARS|LATINOAMERICA, SCARS|MEMBER, SCARS|VOLUNTEER, SCARS Cybercriminal Data Network, Cobalt Alert, Scam Victims Support Group, SCARS ANGELS, SCARS RANGERS, SCARS MARSHALLS, SCARS PARTNERS, are all trademarks of Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc., All Rights Reserved Worldwide

Contact the legal department for the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Incorporated by email at legal@AgainstScams.org