In my last post, I spoke about the experience of feeling numb, empty or emotionally detached.
As well as protecting us from experiencing pain or suffering, this state can sadly prevent us from experiencing pleasant emotions such as joy or excitement. It can also feel difficult to problem-solve or rationalise situations effectively when we’re feeling numb, therefore “talking ourselves out of it” can feel almost impossible.
🌸When we’re feeling emotionally empty, it’s important to utilise our 5 senses to help us feel more engaged with the world again. Our senses are our gateway to life – they’re how we interact with the world around us through sight, smell, taste, touch and sound, this is why they’re so useful when we’re trying to feel more connected!
🌶Try putting together a list of items or ideas which stimulate your 5 senses which you can go to when you start to feel detached. Include things which might give your senses a bit of a shock, such as spicy food, ice cubes, hot drinks, cold showers or strong smells. Check out my series of posts on “self soothing with the senses” for more ideas on this.
🍰Try a new hobby or activity which utilises your senses, such as gardening or cooking.
🌡Changing your body temperature can be useful to shift your brain out of “freeze mode” which can be as easy as going for a walk in the cold or splashing your face with cold water.
🚴♀️Brief periods of intense exercise can also be helpful – try doing 1 minute of running on the spot or star jumps.
💪Progressive muscle relaxation or touching or gently squeezing your arms and legs can help with physical feelings of numbness
❺The “name 5 things” exercise can also be helpful to orient yourself to your surroundings when you feel disconnected.
👯♂️Reach out to others – never under-estimate the impact of connection with other people on your general sense of connectedness.
Why not give these a go and let me know how you get on in the comments! Remember to ask for help from someone you trust if you’re struggling with your mental health 💜