When You Feel Emotionally Numb

Feeling Emotionally Numb? 

Our minds have an amazing ability to protect itself from extreme stress, trauma and mental anguish. When my son was only a few months old I walked through a very traumatic illness as a single mother, I was very young in age and in my faith. The experience and fear of seeing my son close to death, gasping for breathe and being put on life support just to keep breath in him was too much for me to handle. I’ll never forget the moment the children’s hospital pilot, nurse, respiratory therapist and paediatrician marched down the hallway to my dying baby to fly him to the big city hospital.  I’ll never forget the moment that he had to be intubated and how all the tears, anxiety and hope ceased and I just went numb.  This was situational shock for me but for others, like yourself,  you have gone through so much trauma or stress in your life that you find yourself in a place where you feel nothing.

If you were to stop and think about something a little deep and introspective, just for a moment, think about how much our emotions affect our decisions, our goals and our ambitions. Behind every single action in our life, whether good or bad, there will always be an emotional  motivation. A feeling we are trying to experience like –  joy, peace, excitement, or a feeling we are trying to avoid like – shame, guilt, fear and so on.

Sometimes we can become so focused on running away from how we feel, or worse we’ve given up on striving for positive emotions, that we can become emotionally numb. As much as negative emotions like sadness or fear, are emotions we want to avoid, nothing terrifies a person more than when they get to a place emotionally where they feel completely numb. I have been there. Completely unable to feel, anything. Not fear, not sadness nor joy. It’s a place in our mind and spirit where we are checked out and checked into auto pilot.


What can lead to feeling numb?

  • Ptsd
  • High levels of stress
  • Depression
  • Spiritual Apathy
  • Grief

These are all and not limited to, ways that can lead us to an overwhelmed mind, body and spirit.

How to Overcome feeling numb?

The hard part about feeling numb is that we feel numb and when you have no emotion, you have no drive, compassion or energy to even want to get over it.  This can take time but don’t ever believe the lie that this will be you forever, it won’t. I promise.

  • Counselling
  • Rest
  • Retreats/getaways
  • Quiet time with God
  • The Word of God
  • Exercise
  • A good laugh/ a good cry
  • Journal

These are all great ways to begin to turn on the taps of joy and yes even pain and begin to feel again.

Begin to embrace your emotions and learn to flow in them, allowing grief, pain and fear to be present, acknowledged and then released.

A prayer for feeling numb: Jesus, show me the deep hidden places in my heart where I have stopped allowing you in, where I have stopped allowing myself in. Heal my emotions and show me how to handle the deep emotions that my mind is trying to avoid. Fill my heart with your compassion and your joy. AMEN

3 thoughts on “When You Feel Emotionally Numb”

  1. Priscilla A. Pinkowski says:

    I am always emotionally numb. I have had several nervous breakdowns and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The doctors put me on a mood stabilizer, and there I’ve stayed for the last 20 or so years. I don’t like feeling this way. But I’m afraid to get off of the meds. Any advice?

    1. Sarah E Ball says:

      I’m sorry this is your journey but God can still move in the midst of this all. If you have a diagnosis it’s very important you listen to the advice of your doctors and stay on your medication. There’s no shame in that at all.
      I will pray for you that you find joy and emotion again in your life. Fresh hope my friend

      1. Priscilla A. Pinkowski says:

        Thank you!

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