Numbing our feelings

Numbing our feelings can be a coping mechanism to avoid the potential of suffering, making tough decisions or facing what's going on. We can sometimes slip into numbing without even realising it and then it becomes a habit.

{It is important for me to say here that trauma goes beyond the scope of a holistic fertility coach. If you think this might apply to you, I want you to know that I can help connect you with a psychologist or therapist. Please reach out if I can assist you in any way.}

Our feelings can be our guide

Our feelings can help point us toward what we need. So blocking them out would seem counter-productive... Yet it is what a lot of people tend to do, encouraged by a world uncomfortable around emotions.

Obviously, this can't be generalised. Thankfully, there are families who openly share emotion, cultures that show emotion without second guessing and individuals who are completely in touch with their emotions and their expression.

Personally, it was not my upbringing. Growing up, emotions were seen as taboo, where it was expected to keep deep feelings under wraps.

Of course, I didn't have the words to describe this when I was little. I can just remember feeling unease, like things were bubbling beneath the surface with nowhere to go.

Nothing out of the ordinary at the time. But the words I have today as an adult help me understand that I was unknowingly stifling how I was feeling.

So what are some of the ways we can deliberately numb our feelings as adults:

  • Drinking

  • Junk food

  • Candy

  • TV

  • Video games

  • Social media scrolling

  • Retail therapy

I encourage you to check in with yourself here and ask yourself if you could be numbing any feelings. If so, how are you numbing them?

Of course, a bit of the above is fine (I love me some chocolate and Netflix) but if you are excessively and repeatedly using them to disconnect from tough feelings and cut yourself off from feeling anything at all, then that is numbing.

Coming to the realisation that you could be numbing is a first step. Then learning to care for your emotional health. And then deciding if you need outside help.

So what does it look like to gently move away from numbing?

Well, it might look like this for example:

  • Asking yourself what is going on next time you reach again and again for that donut, remote control, burger, etc.

  • Honouring the emotion you are experiencing by identifying it

  • Recognising the pattern if there is one

  • With the above awareness, dipping into your toolbox of holistic practices to release the emotion

  • Treating yourself with kindness and compassion

  • Seeking help if you need it

  • Understanding that it's about progress not perfection

That last one is key. It's not about perfection here. It's hard to go from total numbing to no numbing at all.

So be gentle and go easy on yourself

Gradually, over time, you will learn to safely reconnect with your emotions and hear what they have to say.

The good thing is that reconnecting with your emotions opens you up to feeling uplifting emotions. Those you want in your life!

Along the way, know that you are doing the work. And that is something you can definitely be proud of.


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© 2019 - 2021 Leaning into feeling

I am not a doctor or a psychologist. The support and guidance I give in coaching sessions and in any coaching materials is not intended to replace a medical professional's medical care and treatment. My work with you cannot and will not diagnose or treat any medical problem. For any healthcare decisions, advice from a medical specialist should be sought out.