What is numbing behavior and why we should identify it

Hi Sunshine! How are you? I hope everything’s going well for you this week.

I must confess I’ve been having a hard time dealing with my mental health these past few days. Gathering the courage to write this post took more work than I thought. But I’m taking advantage of the energy I get after a therapy session to write to you because I don’t want to quit so soon after starting this journey.

Last week we started talking about what is self-care and I hope that first post was uselful to you in some way. If you haven’t read how a morning routine can start changing your life, you can always go back and check it out.

Today I’d like to talk about a term I came across while reading about self-care: numbing behavior.

Honestly, I had heard it before but had never given it a second thought. 

This time is different. So here we go.

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What is numbing behavior?

If you hadn’t heard the term before or, like me, hadn’t given it importance, we will start from here.

Numbing behavior is anything that distracts you temporarily from your emotions, and whatever is really troubling you. Numbing behavior is more a matter of why you are doing certain activities, about whether it’s to implement change in your life in the long run or just momentarily.

Gracy Obuchowicz dedicates one day of her five-day free self-care training to talk about this concept and how to identify it. If you are starting or planning to start a real change in your life, this is a good place to do it.

What is numbing behavior and why we should identify it

Why is it important to familiarize yourself with the term numbing behavior?

After reading about it and thinking about my own experience with it, I’d say you should understand numbing behavior because it is often mistaken with self-care. It happens so much it’s easy to fall into a cycle of it.

We all fall into numbing at some point. The problem is when it becomes chronic. When food, alcohol, exercise, shopping, our phones, watching TV, or any other activity becomes an easy way out of dealing with our emotions.

Four numbing behaviors I’ve identified

By now, you might be thinking about your numbing behavior. I know it can be scary to think of all those activities you’ve been doing daily for hours as numbing behavior. I’ve been there.

But you are not alone.

Identifying your numbing behaviors doesn’t mean you have to cut them off your life completely. It merely means you’ve realized they are there and will explore why you are engaging in them so you can get better.

As part of my self-discovery process, I’ve identified my numbing behavior. This past week I spent a lot of time numbing, and it was a slap on the face to accept it. 

Spending a lot of time on social media

Twitter and Instagram become my best friends during hard times. I wake up and go to bed with the latest updates there. 

During my numbing days, I’m the most connected with celebrities’ lives and what my friends post on their IG stories. In the end, I always feel crappier than I did before checking them. 

Reading fanfictions like the world’s going to end

Whoever knows me is aware of the fact fanfics are my go-to anytime. Which is fine because it’s something I enjoy.

The problem is I read them 24/7 while on my numbing days. It turns into a need to tune-out the world through the stories of fictional worlds. There is no way of getting me to do something productive when in this mood.

Believe me when I say the guilty feeling that comes afterward is not nice.

Eating way more than I should

I don’t always turn to this numbing behavior, but it’s one of my biggest nightmares when I do. 

I have a sweet tooth, so anything containing sugar is a definite yes from me. The problem is the self-loathing thoughts that come after the momentary relief I get from overeating in a matter of days.

Listening to my favorite artist’s music for days

You might be thinking, what’s wrong with some music?

The thing about this specific numbing behavior of mine is that I listen to the same artist for days. The songs lead to an unhealthy fantasizing to escape real life, real issues, and real emotions demanding my attention. 

I used to view this as comfort music, and I thought there was nothing wrong with it, but there is. I need to deal with the emotions which lead me to hide in those songs in the first place. 

Baby steps towards progress

I’m sure that if I take more time to think about it, I’ll find more numbing behaviors I’ve been recurring to in my attempt to ignore my emotions. But these four are the ones which give me the most trouble.

I thought whenever I spent a day reading fanfic or listening to my favorite songs on repeat for a week that I was having quality me-time. But I was wrong, and I admit it doesn’t feel right anymore.

I don’t want to continue playing hide and seek with emotions that have been demanding to be felt for years. I’m not saying I’ll cut off from my life all those activities. What I am saying is that it is time to find an in-between. 

I’ve started working on my mental health and emotions. It’s time to stop tiptoeing around my thoughts just because I can’t untangle them when they get messy. I’ve decided I want to enjoy the activities I mentioned without feeling guilty afterward. 

I want to practice actual self-care.

What do you think, Sunshine? Do you have any idea which could be your numbing behaviors? 

You are not alone through this process of self-discovery and self-care. I’m always one email, or tweet, or private message on Instagram away if you feel like sharing what you discover. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed.

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2 thoughts on “What is numbing behavior and why we should identify it

  1. Karla Segura says:

    Durante toda esta cuarentena uno de mis comportamientos adormecedor es ver una y otra vez una serie que me ayuda a enfocarme según yo y no pensar tanto en los problemas que me rondan 🥺

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