Sometimes our feelings are so big and powerful that we want to avoid them. However, in doing so we numb ALL feelings, even positive ones like joy. There are the classic ways of numbing like drugs and alcohol to the more seemingly harmless behaviors like watching TV, binge eating, eating junk foods, scrolling through social media, or watching hours of YouTube videos. Anything that you aren’t doing with intention as a way to TUNE OUT. It isn’t that these are “bad” behaviors, just that it can be helpful to recognize the feeling behind them and that you pay attention to why you’re doing them so that you can hear what your inner voice is trying to communicate.
Are you really hungry or are you feeling lonely? Will eating a bag of chips or spending 2 hours on TikTok alleviate this feeling? Most likely not, but it does hush it down. Our inner voice needs attention and care just like a child to be fully cultivated and active. It is what directs us and keeps us authentically on the right path. But we’ve learned to not spend time with our feelings. To pour a glass of wine at the end of a hard day rather than take 15-20 minutes to journal or mediate on uncomfortable feelings that came up. Why? Because we think it will be easier. Because it can be really hard when you’re feeling down to DO SOMETHING about it. But the more you ignore that voice, the further away you get from your authentic self. If we lean in we can find the root and make changes in our life. That’s scary too, you’ll have to become accountable to yourself! Once you KNOW something it is really hard to ignore and UNKOW it. But you can do hard things and in doing the hard thing, your life flows more freely.
When we numb to avoid the pain it becomes difficult to recognize any of our feelings. Feelings like anxiety are an evolutionary trait to protect us from danger. If you felt NO ANXIETY all the time you might get in trouble. There are certain times when it is appropriate to feel anxious or nervous. And of course, if we feel nothing than how can we feel contentment and joy?
I’d like to leave you with a journal prompt to get you thinking about how you take care of yourself so you can be more aware of what you need as you become aware of your own numbing habits.
Let’s journal about: NUMBING
Think about the last time you had a really tough day. What did it feel like when you got home? What feeling/s were you trying to avoid? How do you soothe yourself when you have uncomfortable feelings?
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