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Beyond the Surface: Tips for Overcoming Emotional Numbness

Have you ever felt like you’re going through the motions of life without really feeling anything? Are you meandering along without any real purpose or passion? Perhaps you’re a spectator watching yourself from a distance or you’re like a submarine drifting undetected, picking up on other people’s emotions but unable to identify your own. If these describe your feelings, you may be experiencing emotional numbness.

Emotional numbness is something that many people experience at some point in their lives. It’s a state of being where you feel detached from your emotions and the world around you. 

Emotional numbing can manifest in various ways: scrolling on phones or social media feeds for extended periods of time, substance abuse, excessive exercise, overeating or undereating, or avoiding emotions altogether. These are all forms of distraction that allow people to avoid confronting their feelings or dealing with difficult emotions.

I have personally experienced emotional numbness in my life, and I know how challenging it can be. It’s like you’re living in a fog, where everything feels muted and distant. For me, emotional numbness was a coping mechanism that I developed during a particularly difficult time in my life. I was dealing with a lot of stress and anxiety, and I found that the only way to deal with it was to shut down emotionally. I became detached from my feelings, and it felt like the only way to survive.

But as time went on, I realized that this emotional numbness was not serving me well. I wasn’t really living, I was just existing. I wasn’t able to fully engage with the world or with other people. I knew that I needed to find a way to break free from this numbness and start feeling again.

The first step for me was to acknowledge and accept my emotions. I had to allow myself to feel everything, even the difficult and painful emotions that I had been avoiding. It was scary and uncomfortable, but it was also liberating. I started to feel more connected to myself and to the world around me.

But I’ve learned that all emotions have value, and it’s important to acknowledge and process them, not just the ones that feel good. Life can feel great one moment and terrible the next, and that’s okay.

If you find yourself resorting to numbing your emotions, it’s important to find healthier coping mechanisms. Here are some tips:

  1. Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness can help you become more aware of your emotions without judgment or the need to numb them.
  2. Practice self-careTaking care of your physical and emotional needs can help you build resilience and better cope with difficult emotions.
  3. Engage in activities that bring you joy: Doing things that you enjoy can help you regulate your emotions and improve your overall well-being.
  4. Seek support: Talking to a therapist, a trusted friend, or a support group can help you process difficult emotions in a healthy way.

What do you think? Have you ever experienced emotional numbness? How do you cope with your emotions? Please feel free to reach out as I would love to hear from you.

Quote of the week:

“I learned to be with myself rather than avoiding myself with limiting habits; I started to be aware of my feelings more, rather than numb them.” Judith Wright

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Hello, I'm Melissa, your guide to conquering stress through mindfulness and doodling. After a demanding career and burnout, I discovered the transformative power of mindful doodling, which not only brought joy but also a sense of self I thought was lost. Now, I'm on a mission to share this practice with you. Join me on a journey to find peace, mindfulness, and creativity through doodles. Welcome to a stress-free, mindful life!

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