Emotional numbing comes in two forms:
- detaching emotionally as a coping method to avoid triggering overwhelming feelings.
- detaching emotionally as a form of keeping boundaries and protecting from any psychic trauma.
What does it feel like to be emotionally numb? You feel like a ghost watching and observing others go along in their lives and you feel so invisible that you can’t interact with anyone. This state of mind is very painful. You feel unfocused and ungrounded. Can’t communicate or think straight.
There can be many causes for emotional numbing only you can say how it occurred in your life.
So how do you manage in the meantime.
- identify triggers, what caused your initial shutdown.
- write it out uncensored on your computer or by hand.
- talk to a therapist or trusted friend.
- stay busy.
- eat and sleep well.
- remember, the feeling is temporary.
It may take some time to come out of emotional numbness but that is the OK. Mental health is very important and it takes time to understand what is going on in our minds. Is it a linear process, not at all. Healing has its own time table, have patience with yourself and in the meantime take really good care of yourself. You are worth it.
To ground oneself in an effort to gain healthy mental health is very necessary. It’s not easy because we get caught up stuck in our heads, thinking too much.
Grounding helps us to calm down our minds so we can get clarity. Grounding facilitates that emotional release we need to heal ourselves.
We can’t heal ourselves from unsettled thinking through a cerebral process. It doesn’t work that way. Our unexpressed emotions and unexpressed truths will consume us until they are looked at and this is where grounding comes in.
Here are a few examples of grounding that worked for me:
- focusing on the breath gradually working up to about 2 minutes.
- paying attention to what you are thinking and write it down.
- coming back to the present moment, what are you doing at that moment.
- meditation, quiet time, reflection.
- do artwork, draw, paint, doodle, sew, knit, woodwork any kind of crafts.
- write, even if it is a word, or sentence, write what you hear, write from the heart.
- listen to music, any music that you like.
- take a walk, breath in deep, look at nature, go to the ocean.
- take a different action, redirect your actions.
- exercise, any exercise is better than none.
Grounding is an important part of getting in touch with your body where a lot of negativity, hidden memories, and confusion is stored.
Our mind needs grounding for clarity and our bodies need grounding to get rid of stored negativity, hidden memories and confusion that it holds.
By practicing grounding on a regular basis, even once a week reaps great benefit and help change your thinking by changing your emotional life for the better.
Any kind of entrapment feels uncomfortable. You can become a prisoner of your own mind too. Do you have obsessive thoughts? Are you adamant about your beliefs and won’t listen to other points of view? Do you have self-defeating tendencies?
The good news is being a prisoner of your mind is mostly artificial. A lot these thoughts are based on fear and insecurities.
The work to open that cell door comes from grounding yourself in some way. Here are some suggestions:
- Redirecting your thoughts.
- Making art.
- Talking to a mental health professional.
I am sure you can add to the list. The idea is to be in the present moment for as long as possible so your mind does not hijack you back to being a prisoner.
This takes effort, consistency, and even scary at times to go into this new territory. The results are so worth it and will strengthen you. Go for it.
It is common information about emotional trauma being trapped in the body. Google it or go to the library for reading material.
However, how do we uncover emotions without the long stretches in therapy or costly physical therapies?
Start with walking more, take the stairs, swim, dance, rent a bike, work out, walk your neighbor’s dog, garden, yoga on youtube.
The next step to exorcise those pesky emotions that sneak up on you and settle in your body, sit with paper and pen or open a word document and pour your mind onto a page.
By exercising you can release trauma from your body which is connected to your mind.
By writing you exorcise trauma from your mind which is connected to your body.
Find your balance.