When you lose someone or something you value, there are several different ways you can react. One of them is to become numb. It may seem a good thing not to be able to feel emotional pain, but there’s more to it than that. Being ‘numb’ is an uneasy sensation that can leave you drained of life. However, there are ways you can help yourself.
Find out about:
- The benefits of recognising what’s happening
- Benefit from animals and nature
- Look after yourself physically
- Practise gratitude and consideration
WELL DONE FOR RECOGNISING WHAT’S HAPPENED
If you’ve realised you’re numb then that’s the first step on the way to getting better. It would be all too easy to assume that you’re being strong, or that the loss didn’t really matter. If you’ve faced the fact that something isn’t quite right, then you’re in a good place to start working on changing things.
If you’re thinking to yourself it might be better to leave well enough alone, think again. Your numbness is something that your subconscious has caused, in order to protect you. If you’ve had a shock or the situation was unbearable, something inside you has shut off, involuntarily, but there’s a price to pay for this.
One of the drawbacks is that if you’ve shut off the pain, you’ve probably shut off anything pleasurable, too, and that can make it seem that life’s not worth living. This can lead to depression. Also, although this may not be obvious, damping down your feelings actually takes a lot of energy, so you could feel exhausted a lot of the time.
If you want to recover then you need to find a way out of this numb state.
ACCEPT THE SITUATION
So you’ve recognised you feel numb and that this isn’t the best way to be. You want to change this, and it’s worrying you. But try to relax! Of course this isn’t great, but attempting to force the issue can be counter-productive.
Be kind to yourself. Think of it this way – if you’d had a physical accident that had made one of your limbs temporarily numb, you would certainly take care of yourself. Probably you would try to restore feeling by massage and gentle exercise. Getting rid of emotional numbness is similar. Be patient and keep trying.
ASK YOURSELF WHY
You’re numb because you don’t want to feel, but why has your subconscious chosen this option? Could it be because you were never shown much sympathy when you were younger? Maybe you were given toughen-up messages and you’re ashamed to feel. If so, be assured that crying and grieving are healthy.
Could it be that you don’t want to be a burden? Maybe you fear that friends and family will avoid you if you complain. Ask yourself where those messages came from. Did you have a parent who couldn’t cope with you getting upset? Remind yourself that many people actually like being leant on by someone who is down.
Maybe you’re afraid and you doubt your own powers of survival. If you open the floodgates to this feeling, could it be that you’ll go under completely? Then you need to trust your inner strength. Although it may be painful, there will be a future for you – believe this.
OPEN OUT TO FRIENDS
The first stage in your healing may be to open out to friends. Not all will be helpful, and some may shy away because they’re scared or uncomfortable, but is that the end of the world? Do not let that reinforce the bottle-it-up messages you’re giving yourself, because there are people out there who will listen and sympathise.
Sometimes a hug from a friend is all it needs to demolish those barriers and let the tears flow. Contact with other humans who are sympathetic and helpful is your best therapy.
Never forget that our team of supportive, empathic Readers is always on hand, so if you need immediate support, we’re just a call away.
ANIMALS AND NATURE
Everything inside you might feel all frozen up – until you watch a puppy playing or a litter of kittens snuggled up together. Cuddly animals are usually best, but birdsong and wildlife can also be a blessing.
Just being out in the natural world is also balm to the soul. Whatever you do, don’t stay holed up inside. Get out and feel the breeze on your cheek, see the green hills and the graceful shapes of the trees. Even if you don’t want to at first, it will do you good.
LOOK AFTER YOUR BODY
Looking after your body sends messages of acceptance to your mind. It’s rather like having that big hug from a friend. Get yourself to relax physically and your heart can also open.
So have a massage, make sure your nutrition is good and do what you can to get proper sleep – regular exercise will help here. This may seem obvious but when you’re numb after loss it’s surprising how those good habits may be abandoned.
GRATITUDE AND CONCERN FOR OTHERS
So you can’t ‘feel’ much in the way of grieving, or similar, but can you muster up any gratitude for the good things you have – even if you think they’re a bit thin at the moment? How about the blessing of sunshine, a smile or a cup of tea? Life has many little pleasures – focus on these, moment by moment.
Concern for other people can lift you out of yourself, also. There are others who are less fortunate and who may need your help. This isn’t to make you feel guilty for your own feelings – you are entitled to them, but you aren’t alone. Connecting to someone else can move you on, and bring meaning back into your life.
HOW WE CAN HELP
We’ve looked at several aspects of being numb. Firstly, it’s good to spot what’s happening. Next it’s important to accept yourself and not force issues. You can ask yourself why, open out to friends, enjoy animals and nature, look after your body and practise gratitude and consideration. All of this can help you release that numbness, but there’s nothing better than personal attention from one of our wise and well-trained Readers, so contact us today and begin your journey back to feeling alive again.
PUBLISHED: 11 May 2018