Navigating The Calm: Coping Through Emotional Numbness

by | Apr 4, 2024 | Mental health | 0 comments

Image by jcomp on Freepik

People grieve differently, processing loss differently. But across these different stages and processes, emotional numbness is a shared experience.

The despair people feel when they lose someone may often feel irreparable. Some may spend months mourning the loss, feeling unimaginable misery. They may speak about these situations while comparing themselves to a dam running dry, with them ceaselessly shedding tears.

Sadness is the immediate and only proper reaction to loss. This is how people would expect others to behave when mourning, desolate with eyes dried up with tears. However, like any other emotion, this isn’t the only appearance sadness takes.

When Sadness Turns People’s Autopilot On

Losing someone so dear is an undeniably overwhelming experience. This is why losing oneself during the grieving process is equally easy. While most lose control of their tears, others may lose their emotions or feelings. They feel so deeply that they end up disconnecting from the world. They’ll feel flat, like they’ve become two-dimensional beings unable to feel and express. Life starts to pass them in a breeze as if they’re functioning on autopilot, mindless and ultimately unknowing.

Going with the flow takes on an entirely different meaning throughout the grieving process. Instead of conveying a rather positively carefree disposition, it carries a bleak, almost lifeless nature in this situation. People go with the flow when their emotions, not their logic, take the limelight.

Often, things become too much, and the body resorts to losing all feelings. They’re steered around by their feelings and become non-functional. When every negative emotion presents itself in the body, it pushes the individual into overdrive. They feel so much that they feel nothing. This results in people feeling a confusing and almost frightening state of numbness – the seeming calm before the storm.

What Is Emotional Numbness?

Its name alone may raise red flags in the mind. Emotional numbness already sounds desolate and isolating. When the body is wired to have an accompanying feeling in every experience, having none sounds empty. It sends one thinking and acting like a hollowed vessel, mindlessly wandering.

However, such an experience is expected. To feel numbness or nothing is a natural part of grieving. This doesn’t mean the person loved the deceased any less. It’s the total opposite. When one experiences emotional numbness, it’s associated with depression – people’s rock bottom.

The grieving individual might feel nothing. Hence, it’s easy to believe nothing needs to be done. But emotional numbness happens as a result of disconnection. People don’t feel anything, not because they’ve processed the event. Instead, they might only simply be bottling their emotions excellently.

They’ve learned to separate themselves from their emotions, and the longer this continues, the worse their experience will be when their feelings catch up with them.

It’s crucial to process grief properly. Fortunately, people can read about this in multiple materials, such as in the, a caregiver book by Eleanor Gaccetta. The author narrates the process through which she took care of her mother for nearly a decade, down to the grieving and processes of the loss. It’s a detailed account from which people can learn a lot, preparing themselves for such a grave moment.

What Should One Do To Regain Feelings?

Emotional numbness can be resolved through simple activities that involve movement and interaction. People need to remind themselves they’re feeling and living beings. While accepting can be challenging, people come and go. Everyone must learn to cope with these troubling times.

Similar to what they’ll undergo when feeling numb from the cold, emotional numbness can feel freezing. People may not feel like moving and exercising becomes the least of their concerns. However, doing so may be the best way to get out of the head. Movement takes people away from their thoughts and sit deeply into their emotions. When they move, they warm their bodies and send signals to their brain, making them feel that they’re fine.

Once they’ve gotten their bodies moving, it’s time to unload the things weighing their minds down.

Talking stays on top of the most therapeutic ways to express and release uncomfortable emotions. Grieving is one of those. While it can be challenging to be vulnerable, keeping everything inside is even more burdening. The more they do so, the more susceptible they are to emotional numbness. Hence, people are encouraged to trust someone and share whatever they’re going through.

This can be a friend, a family member, or even a trained professional.

When emotions weigh people down, it’s easy for them to lose sight of their lives. However, they must choose to take control and find their way back to themselves.

You can grab a copy of One Caregiver’sJourney at Amazon or at



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What Authors Say About ReadersMagnet


Google Review

Skip to content