Have you ever felt numb? It could be because of a trauma, death of a loved one, depression, bad news, or maybe it’s just a case of the blahs. It’s normal to feel numb sometimes. And that’s okay. What is not okay is staying there. After sitting in your numbness for a while, it’s important to start processing feelings that come up. Stuffing feelings back down just causes them to come back up later or come out sideways in unhealthy ways. As always, I recommend professional counseling for issues which warrant that kind of help – people don’t hesitate to get help from a doctor when something goes wrong with their body, but for some reason we don’t give our mental state the same respect. For the less serious, typical life stuff, here are a few tips to help when it’s time to kick that numbness to the curb…
1. Let the light in. Don’t sit in a dark house. Open the blinds or better yet go outside. There is plenty of research indicating that exposure to light increases our vitamin D and serotonin levels. Both of these will help you feel better.
2. Phone a friend or family member. We all need connection. We weren’t born to be alone. Confide in a friend or family member about your situation. Simply venting can instantly lift the black cloud. Don’t worry, you’ll be there for them the next time they need you.
3. Take a shower and get ready to go. Get cleaned up, put on something nice, fix your face and hair (in whatever fashion you do) and get ready to shine. Acting your way to a better feeling is crucial when you would rather do nothing.
4. Smile. Simply smiling (and even smiling when no one is around) will tell your brain it is happy even when it might not be. Suddenly, your feelings will follow your face. 😊
5. Put on your favorite music. Listening to music increases the brain’s happy chemicals. Singing along will enhance the experience, just FYI.
6. Speak gratitude. Think about and thank God for a few things you are grateful for. This a very important part of digging out of a blah mental state. Suddenly, you will realize how blessed you really are.
7. Do a good deed. Helping someone else takes the focus off yourself. Realizing someone else is going through life stress too, brings perspective.
8. Recite your favorite scripture. “…the joy of the Lord is your strength,” is one of my favorites. Say it to yourself over and over. Write it down and post it on your bathroom mirror or in your car. It will help defeat negativity.
Above all, remember God loves you. He is right there with you, loving you. No matter how you happen to be feeling about yourself and no matter what your mental state is. Talk to Him. He loves to hear from you.
“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge…” Psalm 91:4