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Numbing Out and Escapism

Whilst I used to have an awareness that numbing out was not a great idea, no one ever really explained why.

We kind of know that we are not dealing with a problem, and we know that it does not solve anything. But also feeling hard emotions is horrible, so of course, we try to escape them.

What no one ever told me is that when you're experiencing a negative emotion, it is your brain trying to give you a message. I know that sounds really basic, but I used to think that having a negative emotion was some kind of failing on my part. Like I hadn't manifested my way to happiness successfully enough yet.

The problem with ignoring our brain’s messages is that when you ignore them, your brain thinks there has been a catastrophe, so it makes the message louder. So that feeling of slight sadness which got you are doom scrolling on Instagram suddenly becomes a really important message which is being ignored. And your body thinks the only reason you could possibly be ignoring this vital information is that there is a problem, so it intensifies the feeling. Because this is vital information, and you need to hear it immediately.

So, although drowning in distraction with wine or Netflix or overworking is a very natural response, what we're really doing is prolonging the discomfort. When we have the courage to sit with our discomfort and process our feelings, we can often find that they move through surprisingly quickly.

And it is a practice. The more we begin to do this, the more we realise that sometimes, our aim is not to eliminate the feeling but to explore what it has to teach us. We cannot do this when we are constantly pushing things away.

Feeling discomfort can be a difficult thing to choose to desire, but when we begin to see this is where the real growth lies, it can be an art form that we may be willing to dabble in.

If you'd like to learn how, come over to

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