Shame Resilience

by Noor Pinna

Shame is a universal experience that men and women feel and yes even children and adolescents. Dr. Brene Brown defines “shame as the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging- something we have experienced, done, or failed to do makes us unworthy of connection.”

 

The impact of shame on our mental health can be detrimental. Shame tells that “I am a mistake (insert any negative label here) therefore I am not worthy of deserving this (insert what you want). Since these thoughts we have are distorted they impact our behaviour and our emotions in regards to our interpersonal effectiveness skills.

There is research that shows that people who suffer from shame are likely to experience depression, social anxiety, and generalized anxiety disorders. This makes sense because shame tells us to isolate, stay in our corner, no one is going to understand us, we are a burden, we are not deserving, and so much more. When we feel so disconnected we are likely to not reach out and ask for help.

So how do you become shame resilient? There are many techniques and tools that you could use. MY favorite one is the 

practice of gratitude. Writing at least three things you are grateful (big or small) can help rewire our brain and our cognitive distortions. Another thing is asking for help from people that you trust. These people are your inner circle that will provide you will unconditional support, warmth, love and friendship. These are the people that will help break the shield of shame. Asking for support is the main thing to break the walls of shame.

Written by Noor Pinna: @noor_pinna