210. How To Be Awesome At Losing Numbing Habits


What is your go-to activity when you want to cope with a stressing situation or procrastinate on doing something hard?  
What do you do when you don’t want to be present in the moment?  What distractions do you allow when you’re working with a task that is overwhelming or uncomfortable?

Most of us spend a good chunk of our life numbed.  Doing things without intention that don’t really make us feel fulfilled (even if we sort of think they do in the moment)… leaving us feeling more anxious, sad, sometimes lonely and less motivated and certainly moving slower towards the goals we want to accomplish.

-Here are some examples..

Sugar, booze, hours scrolling on social media, busy being busy, online shopping, over-buying, hours spent binging TV.  

These habits aren't necessarily bad… but if we engage in them too often OR we think that they make us happy but actually make us feel worse OR if we are using them to numb ourselves… it’s a problem!

Numbing habits are things we do to avoid, procrastinate or distract ourselves from really feeling the feelings we are feeling or doing the hard things that need to be done.

Today, we’re unpacking how we numb and how to undo these habits in a way that makes it last.  So we can live very intentional and present lives.  

-We don’t want to feel uncomfortable so we search out things that make us feel comfortable and allow us to procrastinate.

-We don’t want to risk rejection or failure so we avoid uncertain situations.

-We don’t want to be present in the moment so we distract ourselves scrolling on our phone.

-What if we faced this numbing habits head on- and found a way to not go back to them, ever.

-Most advice would be - delete the app, avoid social media for a month, etc.  And while this could work for some, it doesn’t get to the ROOT of the issue.  

-Here’s the tactical practical advice on this… feel all the feelings.  Be honest with yourself about what you are avoiding, procrastinating on etc.  So you can work through it and decide to not deal with it in the same way.  Once you understand why you do it, it’s much easier to switch out that action with another one that actually serves you.

-Maybe something is uncomfortable or challenges you - Lindsay did this a ton in business.  Rather than making the hard call or finishing the long report, she’d let it sit on her to do list and be busy staying busy- fully avoiding the hard and uncomfortable.  Not moving forward in the way we should because we get ourselves stuck- stuck in avoiding.  Avoiding risk of failure or rejection, so we don’t actually do the things.  Procrastinate and distract instead.  

-Let’s talk about more examples…
-Social media -many layers to this but comparing to others often and spending way more time than you want… just scrolling… looking for nothing in particular.
-Texting - great to connect with friends and family but also can be a huge time suck and addictive.
-Video games,TV & movies - often avoidance!  And like social media- can make us compare our lives to the ones on TV and feel worse.
-Being busy-so busy you aren’t actually present.  For this, it’s time to sit for 10 minutes and do nothing. Recenter, be present, feel the uncertainly, even if you feel like you should get up and do something, do nothing.
-addictions - booze, drugs, smoking, gambling, sugar - alllll ways to numb out feelings you don’t want to feel.  You are triggered to go to these when you are stressed or sad or mad or tense… it’s a way not to feel it.
Comfort foods/ overeating - if it ends up making you feel worse, it’s not healthy.
Losing it/having a crazy moment - it’s like if you bang your elbow, you yell at the last person who slightly irritated you. Rather than losing it, lean into the insecurity or actual feeling.  Rather than taking it out on someone else.

-You think… scrolling IG makes me feel happy.

-But if you’re spending 2-3 hours per night, actually it’s not helping you… it’s keeping you stuck and making you depressed.  Less confidence and less motivated.

-Often we try to change the habits by saying these habits are bad I need to stop.  I’m into sure this is sustainable.  Rather than trying to change the behavior, let’s try to understand the role it plays in our life.

-Think about January 1st, people make resolutions… and most people stick to them for a few weeks at max and then go back to the regular ways.

-But they didn’t address the actual issue- like your numbing your work stress with alcohol, etc.

-WHY this is so important
SO much of the quality of our health comes down to lifestyle and environment.
Stress- emotional stress is REAL and it can make us sick like other things can.  Emotional stress needs to be neutralized - that’s when we numb out with a bad habit.

-If we are honest with ourselves, we might see that we had a few extra glasses of wine or bars of chocolate to numb it.

What will you regret the least?

-Designing your life- not just going with the flow
As a kid- we are taught to stand in lines and not jump in muddy puddles.

-One other thing - we sometimes numb who we are so we dont stand out or to be seen as weird.  Because we worry about the judgment of other people.


-Here’s the thing about when you refrain from running from your feelings.  They are not comfortable, but they aren’t unbearable.  You are stronger than you think.  And the more you flex this muscle, the stronger it gets.  Once you get comfortable being uncomfortable, you have more confidence and comfort.  Physically change your state- go for a bike ride or a run, listen to loud music, you don’t have to sit in a dark room alone to feel the feelings, but you should

-It’s OK to feel sad, to feel stress.  It’s one of the best forms of self love actually… to not reject your feelings and experience the presence.

Feel all the feelings, stop your numbing habits and really feel alive and present each day… that’s the goal!