Written by Amy Beecham
When so much is going on around you, feeling disconnected from yourself is a common experience. Here, a therapist explains how to manage it.
It’s January. We’re back at work, the weather is bleak and the news cycle continues churning through its constant gloom, so it’s no wonder really that some of us feel a bit out of sorts. And that’s absolutely OK. We all have those moments where we don’t quite feel like ourselves, but it’s sometimes difficult to figure out exactly why.
One reason, however, could be a feeling of disconnection from yourself. Our most important relationship is with ourselves, so when our minds and bodies are out of sorts, it can trigger deep-rooted anxiety and stress.
According to therapist and coach Bobbi Banks, feeling this way can often be traced back to deep-rooted unresolved emotions and painful experiences that we’ve neglected.
“This instinct to disconnect usually kicks in to protect us from emotional trauma,” she writes in an Instagram post. “It helps us ‘block out’ traumatic or painful events. But like the fight-or-flight instinct, when the disconnect instinct gets repeatedly triggered, we begin a more consistent pattern of emotional suppression, losing touch with our true selves in the process. This can leave us feeling chronically unhappy and numb.”
How to tell if you’re feeling disconnected from yourself
Bank identifies six key signs, including regularly feeling overwhelmed and numb.
With the stress of modern life, the cost of living crisis and a sense of global uncertainty, these feelings may be common. In light of this, she suggests that feeling a lack of meaning or purpose, as well as struggling to name or feel your emotions could also be a sign of disconnection. A sense of emptiness and feeling like you’re in a constant battle with your mind could also be indicators.
However, it’s not just to do with how you relate to yourself. Banks says that a feeling of isolation from people around you can also come down to disconnection.
How to re-connect with yourself
Banks suggests some simple yet helpful practices that can relieve tension and encourage greater emotional wellbeing. These include journaling to increase awareness of your thoughts, releasing trapped emotions through dance and practicing deep breathing and meditation.
Banks also advises letting yourself feel without resisting and showing kindness and love to your inner child while you do so,
If you don’t feel like things are improving, she says, speak to a therapist or someone you trust so that you can work through your worries together.
If you, or someone you know, is struggling with their mental health, you can find support and resources on the mental health charity Mind’s website and NHS Every Mind Matters or access the NHS’ list of mental health helplines and services.
If you are struggling with your mental health, you can also ask your GP for a referral to NHS Talking Therapies, or you can self-refer.
For confidential support, you can also call the Samaritans in the UK on 116 123 or email [email protected]. In a crisis, call 999.
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