|This is the kind of stuff I should be consuming if I want to feel truly
healthy and satiated.
And it has nothing to do with the Pop Tarts in my pantry...
What I have been doing is stuffing myself with "empty calories"—using TV or social media or alcohol to numb out after long, chaotic days of work and home renovation disruptions. And then I wonder why I still feel crappy in spite of my nightly "relaxation."
Brené Brown first introduced me to the concept of numbing out when I took her Gifts of Imperfection online course through oprah.com. (She talks about numbing a little here.) It's when we try to attain the rest and respite we're craving with things that simply don't feed our spirits.
Rather than bringing us peace and lifting us from our pits of stress, these faux fixes just cause us to go numb.
We no longer feel the bad feelings, but we don't really feel the good ones either.
And after prolonged periods of numbing, you kind of just start to numb out everything—which can really inhibit your capacity to feel joy.
When I took Brené's class, she had us make a list of the stuff we use to numb ourselves. Mine included the vices I mentioned above, along with blaming, anger, and over-consumption of sugar.
Rather than continuing to rely on these numbing mechanisms, Brené says we need to tap into our "comfort wisdom" to find true peace.
How do you access the "food" you so desperately need of when you realize your relaxation facilitators aren't working?
Make a list of all the ways your wisest, most evolved self would tell you to unwind.
These are the activities that truly nourish and rejuvenate your soul.
When I became clear on the fact that I was numbing last week, I immediately dug out my comfort wisdom list from Brené's class. It includes things like "Go outside. Take a nap. Practice gratitude. Do something productive like organizing or cleaning. Read. Breathe and stretch."
Even just reading the list made my body feel more relaxed.
We all intuitively know what we need to heal from the ills of stress. It's just a matter of holding ourselves accountable so that we turn that that wisdom instead of the quick numbing solutions—which will never truly make us feel better.
Can you identify behaviors you use to numb out instead of really feeding yourself? And can you come up with a list of wiser, more comforting actions to replace those that will keep your spirit belly full of delicious, nutritious sustenance?