How do we get back in touch with emotions after feeling numb?
During active addiction, our emotions often get squashed beneath our dependence on drugs and/or alcohol. We learn to avoid our emotions, act on them impulsively, or stay numb to the rhythms of our feelings altogether. Negative, positive, and neutral emotions are a normal part of life. When they come rushing back in early recovery, it can be difficult to know how to sort through them or even get in touch with them in the first place. How can we access our emotions in healthy ways and understand what we’re feeling? Coping with the nuances of deep and everchanging feelings is a lifelong process. However, here are a few simple ways to get back in touch with your emotions.
As with many things, awareness is the first and perhaps most important step. Becoming more aware of your emotions will help you get back in touch with them and get to know yourself and your needs on deeper levels. When you feel an emotion coming up, try to linger there and create a conscious awareness of it. What are you feeling? Can you label it? How does it feel in your mind and body?
Becoming intimately aware of your emotions is easier with a solid mind-body connection. Oftentimes, emotions are stored in the body and getting in touch with how our bodies feel will offer clues about what kind of feelings are coming up. Practices like meditation, yoga, visualization, and tai chi help you get more in touch with that important connection between body and mind. You’ll start to synchronize breath with movements, locate feelings in your body, and learn to articulate what’s going on.
Talking it Out
Don’t underestimate the power of talking. Oftentimes, having a conversation with a friend, therapist, or group, will offer clarity around your emotional life. Sometimes we don’t know what we’re feeling until we say it out loud.
Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 844-857-5992 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you – it’s never too late to begin taking steps towards a happier, healthier life.