Welcome to day 7! You made it!! We have covered so much in the insta-conversation and in DMs. Thank you! Gratitude is a lifelong practice or challenge, depending on the way you look at it. Today we’re going to talk about snags in the gratitude challenge and emotional numbing.
What if practicing gratitude doesn’t always feel good?
Sometimes, it has to be a conscious choice. If you follow us on instagram, you will see that our gratitude challenge hit a snag; assault. In that moment, a conscious choice had to be made to see through tears and feelings of fear, and look for the things to be grateful for. Thankfully, there were a lot of things.
Let’s get real; you won’t practice gratitude or self-compassion in a survival situation. You will focus on surviving. Gratitude helps to aid your recovery, and recovery isn’t always easy. In periods of emotional overwhelm and recovery, gratitude is a way that we can ease the breaks on. It doesn’t change the situation, but it gives you the space to breathe and find your footing again.
If we don’t find our footing, we might end up engaging in emotional numbing. Which, by the way, we all do on a regular basis. Emotional numbing happens in PTSD and mental health conditions, but it also happens (on a smaller scale) as a response to any emotions that we find overwhelming. And, we all have our own patterns of emotional numbing. We might not think anything of them because they are innocuous things that most people do. So in our minds, they must be ok or -at the very least- neutral behaviours that are part and parcel of being a live human.
The thing is that when we numb our bad feelings, we also numb our good feelings. It’s not a selective tool. Instead, it’s the resistance-driven, coping equivalent of a mallet that you use whenever any emotion – good or bad – surfaces. You miss out on the highs, lows and averages of your life. That is not fair on you and that is because of a simple fact: you deserve to be able to show up to and experience your own life. Emotional numbing gets in the way of that.
How do I emotionally numb?
In the same way we can’t give you a one size fits all gratitude practice, we can’t tell you how you emotionally numb yourself.
Maybe you eat, turn to social media, gossip, maybe you experience fury or rage, maybe you look for someone to blame, “fix” yourself or others, go into autopilot, shop, hide, bingewatch, throw yourself into work, numbing can be
Isn’t it funny that when we emotionally numb we engage in behaviours that are part of the shame-guilt-pride reward axis?
In this bonus, we walk you through what can help you to figure out why you numb, how you numb, and what to do instead.
Gratitude is one incredible tool, we are grateful for it, but it would be remiss of us not to keep the journey going. How have you found the challenge? Let us know over on social media or right here in the comments!