Working Through Shame
By Tracy Brown AMFT
Shame is a feeling of embarrassment or humiliation that comes as a result of doing what we perceive as dishonorable, immoral, or improper. Shame can lead to feels of discouragement and depression, impacting ability to function adequately. Although shame can be a difficult emotion to manage, it is possible to work through it in order to find relief. Suggestions for reducing feelings shame including the following:
1. Identify the source of your shame: Try to pinpoint what specific event, behavior, or thought is causing your feelings of shame. This will help you better understand the situation and develop a plan for moving forward.
2. Practice self-compassion: Be kind and understanding with yourself. Remind yourself that everyone makes mistakes and has flaws, and that you are not defined by your shortcomings.
3. Talk to someone you trust: Reach out to a friend, family member, or therapist who can offer support and help you process your emotions.
4. Challenge negative thoughts: When you notice negative self-talk, challenge it with positive affirmations or evidence that contradicts your negative beliefs.
5. Take action: If your shame is related to a specific behavior or action, take steps to make amends or change your behavior moving forward.
Remember that working through shame is a process, and it may take time to feel better. Therefore, be patient with yourself while continuously practicing self-care and self-compassion in order to minimize negative effects on your daily functioning.