Is it difficult for you to experience joy? (Emotional numbness)
When you have difficulties experiencing joy, and perhaps are experiencing emotional numbness it is important to ask yourself why?
If you are not taking anti-depressant medicine, for which emotional numbness is a known side-effect, it might be worth it to look into other reasons.
First of all, the root of this numbness can be due to your physical health, e.g. poor diet. Are you eating a lot of non-nutritious food? The consumption of simple carbons like sugar and white flour can result in fatigue and sluggishness. Processed meat products belong in the same category. Try to eat more high nutritious food and the more varied, the better.
Another simple way to shake of sluggishness (numbness) is to exercise and enjoy the resulting happy hormones. You should always be able to find time for exercise at some point during the day or week. If you find it very challenging, you can always go a little bit earlier to bed and start the next day earlier than usual. It is hard to find a better way to start the day full of endorphins (natural happy hormones).
Third of all is the mental health aspect. Are you living your life according to your values? What are your values and how important are they for you? Work, family, relationships, mental development or a healthy lifestyle are all examples of very common values.
If work is an important value for you but not bringing you the needed satisfaction, this might affect you more than if work was just a necessary evil. Have you ever heard about “bored out”? It simply means that individuals feel bored at work and that can have a huge impact on our well-being. How about your relationships? How is your relationship with your partner? Is it dragging you down instead of bringing you energy and joy? What about your social life? Are you neglecting your friends? The motivation and joyfulness in your daily life reduce if you are not living your life according to your values. This may result in an emotional numbness where individuals don’t experience any kind of joy but are more floating along with life without any strong emotions.
If you aren’t very satisfied with your current life situation, thoughts can take over. When over-thinking occurs, it is draining and results in fatigue and a lack of joy. This is one reason why a therapy session can bring you new energy as these destructive thoughts get aired and
can turn into solutions instead of being on auto-pilot.
Emotional numbness can happen to anyone and is often a healthy response to negative events, such as grief for example. It is, however, worth asking the question: Are you procrastinating something that is good for you, like a healthier lifestyle? Are you still in the relationship that brings you no particular joy? Is work no longer challenging for you and you find yourself floating through the days? Do you not get enough alone time (me-time)?
Whatever the reason is you might need to make some changes. These changes may be smaller and less extensive than you originally thought. Make a decision today to something once a day that brings you closer to your values.
Picture by: Anthony Ran