incredible-marketing Arrow

How Do I Overcome Feelings of Shame?

For many of us who have survived traumatic events, feelings of shame can be challenging to overcome. Feelings of shame can make it difficult to heal. Often, past trauma that has not been resolved can cause us to have strong, adverse reactions to events occurring now. We may even react angrily or violently. However, some of us understand that a past traumatic event can cause us to have long-term feelings of shame. So how do we overcome these feelings of shame?

Shame Shuts Us Down

Overcoming shame means that we don’t have to live with what happened to us in the past but rather understand it and move in a more fulfilling direction. Often feelings of shame crowd our minds and hold power as a voice in our heads. For example, if we are told that we are failures or don’t belong, we may feel ashamed for existing. Having these thoughts about ourselves can be uncomfortable or even excruciating.

Shame tends to build up over time and can cause us to be destructive to ourselves and those around us. Shame can shut our bodies and our brains down and cause us to develop negative habits to cope with painful feelings, like substance abuse. Therefore, it’s critical in recovery to overcome feelings of shame and fight against the destructive patterns that shame can cause.

Don’t Let Shame Overcome You

Many individuals in recovery often feel shame on several levels. It could be shame from traumatic events in the past or shame from destructive habits that were developed to numb painful feelings. All of us will feel guilt at some point in our lives, but guilt shouldn’t dominate our lives.

Many individuals feel shamed because of their substance abuse or asking for help. Unfortunately, there is still a stigma attached to substance abuse and seeking treatment. In reality, having a substance use disorder and seeking help is nothing to be ashamed of; seeking help is an act of courage.

Tips for Overcoming Shame

Fortunately, there are techniques and actions we can use to overcome shame in our lives. The first step is to acknowledge the shame that we feel. When you recognize that you are feeling ashamed, you open up your mind to the possibility of healing as you begin to dig into why you are feeling shame.

Actions used to overcome shame can include:

  • Creating positive interactions and relationships
  • Using affirmations to avoid toxic thoughts
  • Cultivate emotional intelligence
  • Using journaling to uncover deeper truths
  • Avoid thoughts of vulnerability, self-doubt, and anger
  • Meditating and forgiving
  • Increasing knowledge and experience
  • Practice self-compassion and self-awareness

At The Guest House, we realize that shame can lead you to harm yourself or others, but that working with a therapist can help guide you in the right direction and give you new hope and freedom from the emotion of shame. You deserve a life free from feelings of shame. Our therapists will help you find healthier ways to deal with emotions and past trauma and help you develop a new way of thinking. For more information on overcoming feelings of shame, reach out to The Guest House at (855) 483-7800.