Recognizing Shame

Shame, shame, shame. This term seems to be thrown around a lot in conversation about mental health. It is something that I remember hearing Brené Brown define as an “intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging.”

Shame is a feeling that holds people back from a lot of things. I am now in a period of my life where I am learning to ask myself questions and try to figure out my emotions and why I do something or feel some way. I always make sure to ask myself if shame is involved, because a lot of the time it is but I do not recognize it until I ask. 

Dr. Brown also says that shame needs secrecy, silence, and judgment to grow. Knowing this, one of my first steps to dissecting emotion is to take away it’s silence. This does not mean I will go and tell everyone about it, but it does mean that I will bring it to the light in my mind and not let it sit silent in my head. Moving on from acknowledging it can be difficult, and sometimes not even as important as the recognition and understanding.

I am still trying to learn and grow, but I recommend to anyone who has not seen or heard it to go find Brené Brown’s famous TED Talk on shame. It opens up a very important conversation that I believe can help everyone.

Have you noticed that shame is a frequent part of your negative thoughts and emotions? What steps can you take to relieve yourself of shame?

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