Things You Can Do To Overcome Emotional Numbness
Emotional numbness is a complex psychological condition. It requires courage and commitment, but layer-by-layer, you can peel back layers of armor and reclaim the true self that has long waited for your attention.
Here are some of the healing steps in this process.
1. Let Go of Any Guilt Or Shame That Comes From Being Numb
As we stated earlier, emotional numbness is a psychological response and not something that you have consciously chosen. Your inability to express feelings for others might have hurt and disappointed those that are the closest to you. Perhaps you have lost a few loving relationships along the way.
The past cannot be undone, it does not have to mean you carry shame or guilt for the rest of your life. Remember, your numbness grew out of pain and was nothing but a desperate attempt to survive. Approach your numbness with compassion, and even gratitude. Love yourself, rather than condemn yourself, back into life.
2. Embrace Tenderness
As you first thaw the armor that you have held up for years, you may be overcome with a tsunami of emotions as you reveal your true feelings. You may feel tender, emotional, and surprise yourself with bursts of laughter and years.
Fear not, as you are simply returning to your natural state. Your body will slowly learn that it is safe to feel feelings. Very soon, you will even enjoy the sense of aliveness and connection it gives you. Even if it is a turbulent ride, it is a glorious one.
3. Visualize the barrier and dissolve it
In a quiet place, try and visualize your emotional numbness as a wall you have created, then ask yourself the following questions:
- How thick is the wall?
- What is the wall made of? Is it cold metal? Plastic? Or maybe cotton wool?
- Does the wall feel cold or warm? Does it move around?
- Has it remained static or grown in thickness over time?
- Do you see that the wall now has cracks in it?
- If your wall has a personality and a voice, what is it saying to you?
- Are you ready to let it go?
4. Thanking and transforming the numbness
Thank the numbness for the purpose it has served in your life. But now it is time to break through and move towards the other side.
Say to your shield “Thank you for protecting me all these years. Without you, couldn’t live through those hard times. However, I am stronger now, and I no longer need you. I promise you, I will take care of myself. It is safe for us to say goodbye.”
You may add affirmations that help you move forward in life:
- ‘I am ready to experience life’
- ‘It is okay for me to feel sad sometimes.’
- ‘Feeling tender is not a sign of weakness’
Things may not change overnight, but the next time you feel the shield emerging, you would be more aware. It will no longer be an unconscious destructive force outside of your control. Your emotional wall is there to protect you in times of danger. You may choose to use it, or not. But the power remains in you.
5. Connect to your physical self
For people with emotional numbness, life can be an out-of-body experience. Reconnecting with your physical body is an essential step in feeling alive.
Different things work for different people. Practicing deep-breathing techniques, self-massage, yoga, meditation, and tai-chi are some of the ways to connect with your mind, body, and soul.