What to Do When You Want to Numb
Jun 30, 2019
We all numb. Numbing is probably one of our best coping mechanisms.
I numb with TV and food. Many numb with shopping. Some numb with drinking. We all have our ways.
We also all have our triggers. A tough day at work. Getting into an argument with a loved one. PMS.
There are two parts of numbing the first is the trigger, and the second is what to do instead.
I want to say that life isn't supposed to be stressful - and it's not! That said, if you are still "waking up", it's likely you'll experience a stage where life feels more stressful than it ever has before. This cognitive dissonance is between being aware of where you are and where you want to be and not yet knowing what to change.
During this time, it's likely you will:
- feel sensitive/raw to external factors.
- be more aware that you "should" be using your time differently.
- notice that old patterns and beliefs decrease your energy.
This is because you are waking up to the realization that you are here for more; that you want more; that the life others have touted as "the dream" is not actually the dream at all (for you)!
It's because of this awakening that you might feel a stronger pull to numb.
Leaning into more of what your soul is calling you towards feels unknown to the constructs your consciousness is used to - and that is scary to it. And yet, that is exactly what is needed during this phase.
The antidote to fear is action.
What to do instead
- As always, the first step is to become aware!
- Even before you are ready to change your behaviours/patterns, the very first thing is to acknowledge when you are numbing. And I want to say that it's ok to acknowledge the behaviour is happening and to not change it (yet).
- When you are aware of the numbing behaviour, ask yourself: What safety does this numbing provide me? What success/failure am I avoiding?
- Before you might feel ready to change, start to think of some of the things you would like to be doing instead. What are you feeling called towards? You might create physical lists, or you might take mental stock of these things.
- Start to implement slowly.
- As you are ready, each time you become aware of numbing behaviour ask yourself: Is this what I want to be doing right now? What would I rather be doing right now - what would light me up right now?
- As you are ready, start to shift your behaviour towards what is calling to you in that moment.
- For me, watching TV is one of my numbing behaviours. If I'm tired, I will "treat myself" by zoning out watching a show. What the shift has looked like is I'll ask myself if this is what I want to be doing, then I'll usually take a look at the guide to see what is on, then I'll acknowledge that nothing is what I want to be watching so I shift my attention to what I could be doing instead and do that.
- This isn't a linear process. As with all things in life, this is a practice. You a gradually shifting your behavioural patterns. It's ok for this to take some time. It's ok for you to revert back on occasion. It's ok to have an off day and slip into your old ways. Remain consciously aware. When you approach this without self-judgement, you are more likely to continue to practice - especially after you have reverted back to an old pattern.
You are in the process of changing who you are and your external environment - and that is not a small task!
You are creating a new way of being and a new version of yourself!
There is a phase when you become acutely aware that where you are now is not where you want to be or where you are going, but this phase is all part of the growth process. This is all a part of what is creating who you are becoming. This is all part of your journey.
You are on your path. Keep going!