Shame. How many of us have felt this before? How many of us have felt shame this week? Today, even?
Shame is such a powerful, overwhelming feeling. It just makes a person feel gross. Shame is enveloping because it strikes at the core of a person. It’s not necessarily that you’ve done something bad, but shame tricks you into thinking you are something bad.
Well, here’s some good news and hopefully some helpful advice.
The good news is that shame is a liar. The truth is, you are valuable, unique, and wholly purposeful. Let us give you some ideas that will enable you to heal those feelings of shame.
1. Decide who you are.
The first thing shame usually goes for is our identities. Think about and try to develop an understanding of your morals and the reasons behind those morals. This will allow you to see when shame is telling you lies. You can deflect those lies when you know who you are.
2. Get some truth.
Remind yourself of what is true. This could be a line from a book, a lyric from a song, something your grandma told you, etc. It is important to keep a positive, powerful, truthful motto on hand to sound over those feelings of shame.
3. Connect with others.
Overcoming shame isn’t something you can do alone.
Find a friend, spouse, or family member to open up to and air out the shame with. Shame grows exponentially in the dark. Expose it to the light of connection with someone who loves you.
4. Talk to a therapist.
Finding a good therapist can be life-changing. Take the step, make the phone call, set up an appointment. Therapy will help you to develop tools that will combat where the shame (also, any anxiety, depression, guilt, etc.) is coming from. Therapy gets to the root of the struggle and helps you take tangible steps in moving forward.
5. Take Care of Yourself.
Drink water, eat some healthy food, take a walk, play with your dog (or cat), read a book, stretch, take a bath, get enough sleep. Making your health, both mental and physical, a priority is a leap toward freedom from shame.
When you take care of your health, you show not only the world, but yourself, that you matter. You matter enough to take the time to rest, eat well, drink water, and enjoy your life.
Remember these are ideas to try and goals to set. Achieving them will be a process. Don’t let shame steal any more joy from your life.
Enjoy your life.