Ep 169 Numbing to Feel Better
Join me today as I talk about how we numb in order to feel better, and how that holds us back from achieving our goals. It might look like over drinking, over eating, over social media scrolling, over shopping – over anything you choose in order to avoid feeling unwanted feelings. When we are willing to go through the discomfort we are then able to make the changes we most desire in life.
In This Episode:
- The reason we avoid feelings
- The importance of feeling all feelings
- My coaching experience
- Avoiding feelings subconsciously
- Life being 50/50
- How to get unstuck in your life
Hello, hello, hello, welcome back to the podcast. Friends, I am so grateful that you are here. And I hope all is well in your world. Today, I am going to jump right into it. Because today, I want to talk about numbing in order to feel better. Now it’s come up a couple of times this week in different conversations. And I think it’s an important topic to begin discussing. emotional numbing specifically. And I want to look at it with a twist of false pleasure versus long lasting pleasure. So what do I mean? When I say emotional numbing, I’m talking about not wanting to feel the feelings, right not wanting to feel unwanted feelings. So we’re trying to escape or avoid some of the feelings that we do not want to feel. And you know what, I don’t know that as we do it. We are even fully aware of what is going on. So it might look like over drinking over eating over shopping over poring over working. Anything that gives you that dopamine hit over Facebook in and allows you to escape your life. Or sometimes the activities allow you to just tolerate your life. What are you tolerating, because if you didn’t do those activities, you would have to actually be present with what is and the over drinking over the over eating or the overworking might also be a way to deal with things like anxiety, grief, boredom, think about it. Have you ever said to yourself, I’m just going to keep busy. So I don’t have to deal with this. Or I just want that extra glass of wine to take the edge off. Those are some of the signs where you might want to start getting curious. Because the truth is, we have to feel those quote unquote, on wanted feelings, to be able to reflect and get curious about what is going on. And in doing so we are able to then decide if we want to make changes in our lives. Having the glass or glasses of wine each night or working or over eating whatever it is for you will keep you in this cycle. And that is then when you feel stuck in life, not knowing what to do. Here’s the thing, I’m pretty sure life is 5050 parts of life are amazing. And parts are not so amazing. And you know that saying embrace the suck. That’s part of the 5050. Somewhere along the way we got this idea served up to us and a lot of us have believed it that we always need to be happy. And when we start to feel the anxiety or the boredom or the grief, we think something has gone wrong. Nothing has gone wrong. Instead of heading to those things that give us the dopamine hit of the escaping the false pleasure like the alcohol or the sugar. Instead of doing that, I am suggesting that we feel all the fields. Sounds like fun, right? Yes, let’s all sign up to embrace the suck. But honestly, in those moments, we are reaching for false pleasure.
They are the quick hits in the moment that make us feel good. And because we feel good in the moment, we tend to form habits around them. So it’s 6pm I’m bored. Let me just go grab a glass of wine. And let me take a moment and pause to mention it This is you, and you don’t feel like you have any net negative effects in your life. Rock on, I’m talking about when we numb to avoid. And then we have a net negative effect in our life like the next day, we’re either piling on shame or regret, or we can’t seem to let those last extra five pounds go. Those are the net negative effects I’m talking about. It’s when the numbing is keeping you from achieving what your true pleasure is the things that you most desire in your life. And the things that when you accomplish them, you will feel that things like joy and abundance, but you don’t get the true pleasure. By always taking the route of numbing, we have to be willing to feel the discomfort and process the emotions. In order to get to the other side, we have to be able to look at what is going on deep inside sometimes at the subconscious level, and heal that, or simply at least see it to be able to decide if you want to change it. And I see this more and more as I do the work. And I work with clients. And the more I research, we have these beliefs that we hold so close to us because, well for a couple of reasons. Either they were given to us as children, socially programmed, or from our parents, and then we take them on as truth, or maybe something happened to us as a child. And this is now how we cope. It’s what we use as a child to maybe survive. But it doesn’t have to be what we use now as our coping skills. So let me share an example. And I’ve joked about it here before, my sister will sometimes say that I am cold hearted, and I don’t really think that’s true. But compared to her, she’s, you know, a little crazy, let’s say with my nieces, for example. In fact, the teenager says she stalks her with her texting, and I am not quite the same. I of course, love them at my core. But I am not a huge PDA kinda gal. I actually think one of the positive things from COVID that has come out is that we don’t really have that much, right. Okay, let’s stay on topic. Because as I do more of this work, I can see that I have had these built in beliefs, that it is just safer to stay guarded. It’s safer to stay a little distant. And I realized now that it was something I likely took on as a kid, when my biological mom left us, and it shows up in examples like that with my sister, right? We joke about that and laugh. And I know I had a manager years ago, that told me I needed to let my customer see more of who I am. And I remember a funny story with one manager who was leaving. And I immediately called My coworker to find out what the new manager’s cost center number was going to be for the FedEx account. And he was like, Michelle, the body is not even cooled yet. But here’s the thing. I never even realized some of the decisions that I make in life have been tied to this deep rooted thought that it’s safer to stay guarded, or to stay distant and unconsciously, which by the way, is how a lot of people are living these days, right? unconsciously. That’s how I’ve made a lot of decisions. So how is it that now I see this, and I am questioning all of what I do.
It’s because I had to give myself the time to think the time to feel bored, the time to journal, the time to get coached. And you know what I had to give up in order to do that. Some of my busy some of my overworking to avoid some of my extra wine at nights that in the moment, it would have felt so much better to have versus some of the coaching calls where there was like nasty snot running down my face and I was feeling the feelings. That’s a good visual right? I sometimes see coaches post pictures after coaching sessions of their face all teary eyed and crying. I am not quite at that point but I will share it with you here on the podcast. I just won’t make you look at it. Okay because the truth his awareness with action is where you can start changing your life. So what is it for you? What are you tolerating? What are you avoiding? Where can you heal? And listen, it might not be over night. Think of a broken arm, it takes time to heal the core issue, you have to give yourself the grace to do this work without any judgment. And it can be as simple as getting out some paper and getting curious. Let’s say it’s too much wine. You think that each morning, you wake up and have a thought, I wish I didn’t have that extra glass? And listen, I’m not talking about alcoholism here I’m talking about you had the extra glass and now you’re beating yourself up for it. Get curious. And be sure to be compassionate. What is going on? What were you thinking when you reached for that extra glass of wine. And again, I’m saying wine, it could be extra food, it could be extra work, whatever busy you’re using to escape, what are you trying to avoid? Because here’s the interesting part, we can go back and look at what was going on. So the activity occurred. Again, we’ll just stick with the example of wine, you had the extra glass of wine. So the next morning, you reflect back on what was going on. And you start building awareness to that. And then as you reach for that extra glass of wine next time, you will start to notice, oh, wait, what am I looking to avoid here? Do I really want this extra glass of wine. And when you start to see it, you might decide, You know what, not tonight. And then as you do it more, you will know, oh, I’m heading into this night. And I know after a long day, I am going to feel anxious, I am going to think I want that extra glass of wine. But I am going to choose instead, to sit with the feeling, I am going to be willing to feel it. And I’m going to see what comes up as I do. And one other thing. I want to encourage a small shift, and something that you might be saying to yourself, I am anxious, you are not your anxiety, I feel anxious, I feel a tightening in my chest, I feel my heart racing, start using words along those lines. Because remember, the words you say after I am, are what your subconscious takes on as truth. And that one shift can make such a difference. Words matter, friends. Okay. Now, as I close out, I want to know, if you’re catching yourself saying, I don’t really have time to do this. I do not have time to journal, I do not have time to get curious. And I think you should get curious about that
you absolutely do. That is a great sign that there’s an opportunity for you to learn something about the most important person in your life. You so get curious. I know it seems like it’s easier to be busy to have the wine, whatever to shop. But is it really, when you feel like you’re stuck in life or you hear that whisper that you want something different? I’m just suggesting, consider the long lasting desire, the true pleasure, that you are so deeply desiring and be willing to do the work now, for your future self to get those goals. That’s where the magic is friends. We have to be willing to feel the feelings. We have signed up for this thing called being a human. And that means we take on all of the fields. So much fun, right? And here people think coaching is about rainbows, daisies and butterflies. Not so much friends not always it’s about doing the work. And it’s about taking your life to the next level. That’s what I have for you today. As always, if you want help with this, go to Michelle Bourque coaching comm forward slash connect and let’s get on a phone call. Let’s talk about this. Okay, let’s circle back next week, but for now stay safe and make it a great day. Take care