Is Feeling Numb Really an Emotion?

Emotions are often misunderstood, especially feeling numb. We believe that our emotions must fall into neat categories.

I like to call these categories feeling-labels. Common feeling-labels include happy, sad or angry.

When people are experiencing a sensation that does not fit into one of these categories, they conclude that they are not feeling anything or that they are out of touch with their feelings.

The truth is – you are experiencing an emotional state from the past and you can release the past.

Redefining feelings and emotions

Some people use the words emotions and feelings interchangeably. I like to define these terms as two different ways of describing the same experience.

Emotion is the actual experience in your body. Check this out for yourself. Remember a happy experience. Get all those good feelings. Now, scan your body. Where do you feel the sensation? Most people feel happiness in their heart area or all over. This sensation is your emotion.

I like to think of feelings or feeling-labels as the name you give to the physical experiences in your body.

What creates an emotion?

Emotions are created by your brain. Your brain produces neuropeptides. Candace Pert calls these the molecules of emotion.

Neuropeptides flow throughout your body. You experience your emotions in the body. Antonio Damasio says that the body is necessary in order to feel emotions.

To read more on how neuropeptides interact with the cells of your body, see the post: What You Never Knew About Emotions.

“But, I still can’t feel my emotions!”

So, what is happening when people say they can’t feel anything? The brain produces neuropeptides that tell the cells to experience numbness. These folks are feeling something; it is just not one of the common feeling-labels. They feel numb.

Do we need a new feeling-label?

Many people feel numb. This is a normal reaction to a stressful situation.

If you think about it, when you become overwhelmed by a traumatic experience, the best option may be to shut down emotionally. Your brain sends out the message: “don’t feel.” This is one way that our body takes care of us.

Also, in our culture, little boys (and some little girls) are taught to stuff their feelings. When either of these happen, the result is feeling numb.

Releasing the past if you are feeling numb

The poetry of emotion process works if you are feeling numb or sad or angry or any emotional state. You go through the process of gathering your sensory based information to discover your emotional poem. Common poems for numbness might be: frozen like ice, floating in space, or dead inside.

Releasing these poems from the past can open the door to more positive emotions such as calm, peace, or love.

Should numb be a new feeling-label? What do you think?

To keep reading…

(Image: Alex Bellink @ Flickr

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