If all your limbs suddenly went numb it would totally freak you out. But when we can’t feel our feelings, it could be sign that we are emotionally in deep trouble. Emotional numbness has been associated with acute stress, trauma, anxiety and depression. Some common numbing agents include the internet, excessive work, over sleeping, and TV. More dangerous forms of numbing escapism are associated with alcohol, pills and sugar. Unfortunately, none of these give us permanent relief from the painful feelings we wish to avoid.
Shame and inadequacy are common emotional culprits that most people would rather ignore. It would be great if we could just stamp out these unwanted feelings and just keep our pleasurable ones, but the emotional center of our brain doesn’t work that way. When we turn off the brightness in one feeling, the lights go out in all the rest. Emotional numbing hurts us more than helps us. We may momentarily get rid of our insecurities, but we also lose out on fun and freedom.
The key is to stop robbing yourself of the moment, self-awareness and the ability to move forward. Here are some steps to get the most out of your negative feelings.
Know your triggers
You are your own best researcher and problem solver. All it takes is making the decision to notice, rather than ignore, the patterns that keep you stuck.
Deal with discomfort
Remember the saying “what hurts can only make you stronger.” Try sticking with accountability and moving away from avoidance when it comes to looking inside yourself.
Let go of victimization
We all stumble in the face of adversity. By embracing, rather than wallowing in your pain, you can create and witness positive change.
Rejoice in staying mindful
Accept that your condition is temporary, just like most things in life. Judging just inflames your hurt and forces you to numb. Instead, seek new horizons by giving yourself permission to simply, and passively, feel whatever comes up. All feelings are finite. Once you allow yourself to feel and accept your feelings, you can learn to let them go.
Facing your emotions that you trying to numb can help you identify where they are coming from. Once you know the source of your pain, the healing process can begin.