December 10, 2015
Ways We Numb Ourselves
Emerging from the Grey by Madisyn Taylor
Numbing yourself prevents you from confronting your issues and keeps you
from ever finding resolution or peace.
We are born equipped to experience a complex array of diverse emotions. Many of us, however, are uncomfortable confronting our most powerful emotions. We may shy away from delight and despair and deny life's colors by retreating into a world of monotone grey. We may numb ourselves to what we are truly feeling. It's easier to suppress our emotions than to deal with them, so we may momentarily turn to pleasures such as alcohol, food, sugar, shopping and too much television. We may even numb our hearts. While it's normal to temporarily seek distractions as a means of coping with intense emotions, numbing yourself prevents you from confronting your issues and keeps you from ever finding resolution or peace. When you are numb, there is no pain or powerlessness, but there can also be no joy or healing.
The activities that numb you may seem harmless or pleasurable, but using them to numb yourself diminishes the quality of your life. Numbing yourself so that you don't have to feel intense emotions can often satisfy a surface need while blocking your awareness of a deeper need. You may find solace in food or shopping when what you really need is spiritual nourishment. The less you feel, the less alive you feel. Your feelings add vividness to your experiences and serve to connect you to the world around you. It is possible to disavow yourself of numbing behaviors a little at a time and once again taste life's rich flavors. When you sense that you are engaging in a particular behavior simply to deaden your emotions, stop and ask yourself why. Examining the feelings that drive you to numb yourself can help you understand what is triggering your desire to emotionally fade out.
With each numbing activity that you cut out of your life, you'll find yourself being more aware and experiencing a greater emotionally acuity. Senses once shrouded by the fog of numbness become sharp and acute. Traumas and pain long hidden will emerge to the forefront of your consciousness and reveal themselves so that you can heal them. You'll discover a deeper you a self that is comfortable experiencing and working through intense emotions with courage and grace.
Madisyn Taylor writes a newsletter Daily OM, Nurturing Mind, Body and Spirit.
Video from KarmaTube
"Your blood keeps pumping because, like, you're really mad. And you start to get sweaty because you're getting really, really mad. And then when you start getting really mad, you turn red." Entirely un-scripted, this video was filmed on a Saturday afternoon with students of Citizens of the World Charter School in Mar Vista, California, and their families. These 6-year old kids began learning mindfulness techniques in Kindergarten and can teach us all a thing or two about coping with difficult emotions.
The term “Emotional Metabolism” affirms that we are constantly experiencing a flux of emotions generated from within, and we experience emotions that impact us from the outside – the feelings of others. And emotions must be processed just as we need to process any food that enters our system.
Our emotional metabolism is the part of us that does its best to take in the emotions that work for us, while protecting against the kinds of emotions that bring us down. In other words, feelings of all kinds must be digested, assimilated, and if they don’t serve us – neutralized and excreted.
- See more at: http://psychologyofeating.com/what-is-emotional-metabolism-video/#sthash.FCIkFJdK.dpuf
I recently watched Amy Cuddy's TED talk about How Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are. She talks about powerful body language both as others perceive you and as you perceive yourself. I would use this information when using Powerfull to talk about building confidence. I would also use it to discuss difference between feeling powerful and feeling powerless.
Love her quote "Fake it unless you become it.!" Watch here Amy Cuddy talk.
Check out Karla Mclaren's blog for May 15th. She discusses a term called emotional weasel words. Read it here http://karlamclaren.com/stress-is-a-weasel-word-and-maybe-thats-good/
Daniel Goldman says that emotional intelligence includes, “the ability to control impulses, delay gratification, motivate self, read other people’s social cues, and cope with life’s ups and downs”. Learning how to express how you feel in appropriate ways is a life skill that will help you to make healthy choices for yourself. Sharing how you feel with others creates connection and encourages the development of safe, caring relationships. Do not assume that the children know how to do this. You will encourage emotional communication and offer support to the children you teach listening, empathy and communication skills.
When you teach a variety of ways to express all feelings you are giving children skills that can be used for a lifetime. What follows are suggestions for ways to practice expressing emotions.
Teach about learning styles and Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences so that each child can learn about their own style of learning and expressing feelings.
- An auditory person would want to talk about his or her feelings.
- A visual person might want to show you how he or she feels with pictures.
- A kinesthetic person might want a hug or sit close to you or need to express his or her feeling with movement.
The arts are a rich resource for expressing emotion.
- Drawing, painting, clay
- Dance, movement, exercise
- Poetry, creative writing
- Puppets, plays, drama
- Music, singing, humming, play an instrument, drum
Breathing. We hold our breath in an attempt to keep a feeling from releasing.
Try these to use breath to express emotions or release them.
- Count to ten and breath
- Hold breath for 10-20 seconds and then blow out very slowly
- Take slow breaths in through nose; blow out slowly through mouth
- Sing, whistle
Play/Movement – especially in nature
- Talk a walk or run
- Walk through a park, pick up sticks and stones that appeal to you
- Play on a playground
- Throw rocks in a lake; throw cotton balls (and pick them up)
- Wad up large pieces of newspapers