Tired of Numbing out? Do this instead

May 14, 2024


Schools out for summer! 

It’s so fun having the kids home again to enjoy the lazy days of summer in the land of vacations. Annnnd, then it’s not! Because they are kids and life is hard and all the things still have to get done in the summer and that’s hard to do with kids under your feet. 

It’s enough to make you want to numb out sometimes. I want to encourage you not to fall down the slippery slope. I spent years feeling numb.

Life felt like one big mess. All the time. There were years where I was so overwhelmed I lacked appreciation for all the smaller things, like a beautiful sunny day! Stress and grief sprinkled with anxiety brought me to a place where looking at kids with popsicle juice smeared on their faces only added to my stress.  Who was going to clean that up?

Do you feel the need to NUMB?  I’m not talking about the need for a brief release or a night out with the girls. I’m talking about a constant need to push down your emotions because you’re so overwhelmed you’re not sure how to face them. 

​When life gets stressful, what is your coping mechanism to ‘deal’? Whatever just popped into your head when you read that… is your thing. Was it cocktails, chardonnay, shopping, naps, food, medication or something else?? 

The problem is numbing doesn’t really help us handle the bad stuff. Be honest, numbing just makes us not care about anything, even the good stuff. This will always leave you less appreciative.  Think about it. The typical ‘easy outs’ often make us feel like garbage after the initial burst of relief.  Repeated over time, your lows become lower… and you spiral there quicker. 

In some cases, pharmaceutical medications are a useful option. But for many people, those meds perpetuate a constant state of numb.

Mind Blowing Facts: Pharma SSRI’s are not meant to make you Happy. They are meant to make you less sad.  

Stick with me here, while I nerd out a little: Pharmaceutical selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors –that’s the fancy way of saying SSRIs- are a class of medications commonly prescribed to treat depression, anxiety disorders, and other mental health conditions. SSRIs work by increasing the levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter (chemical messenger) in the brain. Serotonin plays a key role in regulating mood, emotions, and behavior. SSRIs block the reabsorption (reuptake) of serotonin by certain nerve cells, which helps to increase serotonin levels in the brain. This, in turn, can improve mood and alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety over time.

So what can you do? 

Well the first thing you can do is recognize the emotion that makes you want to numb. Get curious about it. Ask yourself questions.

I recently learned about a VOWEL Check System that really resonated with me and I wanted to share it with you! The point of the system is to train your brain to keep NUMBING to a minimum, and JOY at a maximum.

A- Abstain (From whatever you use to feel numb. mindless scrolling? food? cocktails?)
​E- Exercise
​I- What have I done for myself
​O- What have I done for Others
​U- What Unexpressed emotions am I holding onto
​Y- yes! what is something I’m grateful for today

It takes practice but its worth it.

Here are two other things you can do to reduce the need to numb. 

Drop those nightly glasses of wine. 

An occasional glass of wine is one thing, but the need to numb out with two, three, or five glasses can have a poor impact on our mental health. We could learn a few things from Gen Z who are more cautious about their drinking habits. The trend has given rise to a whole new line of non-alcoholic drinks to help you chill with natural adaptogens like ginseng, mushrooms, ashwagandha and lion’s mane.  I have a favorite bubbly alternative, it’s called PEP.  A probiotic soda of sorts – only it’s good for your body and your brain.  Grab a fancy glass, and kick off happy hour! 

Focus on your gut health.

What’s my gut got to do with it?

90% of serotonin and all of your happy hormones stem from the gut.
70% of immune function stems from the gut.
Your sex hormones, depend on gut communication.
Your fat storage and cravings stem from the gut.
Your energy, mood, and overall vigor for life stem from the gut.

Creating a HABIT around supporting your gut microbiome is the first step in lowering the overwhelm so you don’t feel the need to numb.  I started on a supplement Stress Protocol years ago, and it was pivotal for me shifting from NUMB and into LIVING and feeling the feelings in a healthy way.

The goal is not to be stress free. The goal is to get your body to respond to the stressors of life better, so you can show up for yourself and your loved ones better. None of these things will eliminate stress in your life but they sure will make it easier to handle and at least you’ll notice those sunny skies when all else fails.

I'm Dana Lewis

Hi there!

When my fit husband died at forty from a cancerous tumor with little to no symptoms, it left stress to blame and lots of questions to be answered. As I began searching for answers, I learned about the microbiome and the power of this second brain. Ten years later, I am honored to be able to take what began as my pain and share it with you.