Selective numbness, the secret power!

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Everyone experiences moments when they need to numb out of emotional pain. Perhaps you’re overwhelmed by a painful situation or just don’t want to think about something. But why is numbness such a powerful coping mechanism? And how can you use selective numbness in different situations? Today, we’ll explore all of these questions and more.

Guidance to readers: This topic is for those who are mentally strong. Readers’ discretion is advised.

Selective Numbness
Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

What is selective numbness to situations?

Selective numbness is a psychological phenomenon where we temporarily block out unpleasant or uncomfortable thoughts or feelings.

It is handy in certain situations, like when you’re trying to focus on something else. For example, if you’re studying for an exam, you may try to block out any negative thoughts or feelings so you can concentrate.

It is helpful to maintain better mental health in the long run. Selective numbness will also help you fight PTSD, help you learn detachment, and moderate feelings of emptiness or loneliness.

When you practice this numbness with compassion, your inability to cope with situations improves, and you will learn the art of self-care with a powerful shield.

It is a form of yoga that you must employ.

Why is numbness a powerful coping mechanism?

Numbness is a coping mechanism that many of us use in our day-to-day life. It allows us to remove ourselves from difficult or traumatic situations and helps us to deal with them in a less harmful or painful way.

For some people, numbness is a secret power that helps them manage difficult situations. It allows them to detach themselves from their emotions and feelings, giving them a sense of distance and control.

This way, they make better choices and avoid being overwhelmed or consumed by the situation.

The different types of selective numbness

Selective numbness is a powerful mental strategy that you can use to manage situations. It’s often referred to as the ‘secret power of the numb mind.’ There are three types of selective numbness – basicconditioned, and autonomic.

Basic selective numbness is the most common form and allows us to ignore certain stimuli. It is helpful in certain situations where it’s safe to do so. 

For example, if you’re in a dangerous situation and want to avoid seeing or hearing anything that could worsen – you can use basic selective numbness.

Conditioned selective numbness is similar to basic selective numbness, but it’s more flexible – you can activate it at will. It is for situations where you need to be aware of a particular stimulus – but don’t want to be overwhelmed by it. 

For example, you may want to be aware of your surroundings but not be bothered by the noise level.

Autonomic selective numbness is the least common form and allows people to block out all feelings and emotions temporarily. Emotional numbness! It is helpful when you don’t want to be affected by the emotional content of the situation. 

For example, you might use autonomic numbness if you’re answering a difficult question in an interview and don’t want to show any emotion.

When to use selective numbness?

Selective numbness is helpful if: 

– You need to stay focused and concentrate on your work.

– You’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed out and don’t want to deal with the emotions that come with those feelings.

– You need time to process what’s happening before decisioning or actioning.

Selective numbness allows you to override your emotional responses and focus on other things. You may find that you’re able to think more clearly and calmly, and you may even be able to handle the situation better than if you were emotionally engaged.

However, numbing out should only be used as a temporary solution; it should not become a regular habit or way of life. It’s best used when needed and then discontinued as soon as possible so your emotions can return to their normal state.

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How to apply selective numbness in different situations?

When you use selective numbness properly, you can reduce the feelings of sadness from any traumatic event.

Here is the FOUR step formula:

  1. Identify the situation: What is the situation you want to numb? 

  2. List the emotions you are feeling: What are the emotions you want to avoid feeling? 

  3. Decide on a course of action: What can you do to lessen or avoid those emotions?

  4. Execute that action: How will you execute your chosen action?

Tuning in, Tuning out

We all do it regularly, 

Tuning in means paying attention to what’s happening around you and trying to take it all in. It needs practice, though, because every problem feels like a massive obstacle in your way.

Tuning out means shutting down all external stimuli and focusing only on the task. In some cases, this may involve going into autopilot mode and doing whatever it takes to get through the situation without feeling overwhelmed or stressed. 

However, sometimes tuning out can also mean blocking out all thoughts altogether – which can lead to disastrous consequences. 

The last thing to remember is that emotional avoidance can lead to lifestyle changes and major depressive disorder and may drown you in emotional deep waters. 


The key is to find a balance between tuning in and tuning out. So that you don’t become overwhelmed or lost in the situation. And ultimately, this will help you get through it easily and faster.


Congratulations! You’ve made it thus far. Selective numbness is a powerful coping mechanism you can use in different situations to manage difficult emotions. And by understanding the different types of selective numbness and when to use them, you can better manage difficult situations.

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