A young man needs 5 tips for how to deal with shame.

5 Tips for How to Deal With Shame

Everyone experiences shame and embarrassment from time to time, but dealing with these feelings is possible. Keep reading to learn how.


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Shame is a deeply rooted emotion that can significantly impact our self-worth and overall mental health. Unlike guilt, which is tied to specific actions, shame is often a pervasive feeling that affects how we see ourselves. It’s important to recognize that everyone experiences shame and embarrassment at some point, and there are effective ways to address and overcome it. 

By understanding the sources of our shame, practicing self-compassion, seeking support, and focusing on personal growth, we can reclaim our self-worth and move forward with greater resilience and confidence. In this piece, we’ll explore practical steps and strategies to help you deal with shame and foster a healthier, more positive relationship with yourself.

Overcoming shame: 5 tips to reclaim your self-worth

Shame is a powerful and often debilitating emotion that can stem from a perceived failure, mistake, or feeling of inadequacy. As mentioned, it differs from guilt, which is related to specific actions; instead, shame affects your sense of self-worth. Shame makes us our biggest inner critic and can lead to us having low self esteem. 

Here are some tips for how to deal with shame. By understanding and addressing shame through these steps, you can begin the journey of reclaiming your self-worth and fostering a healthier, more positive relationship with yourself.

Identify the source of your shame

Reflect on the experiences or beliefs that may be a shame trigger. Is it tied to a specific event, a pattern of behavior, or negative self-perceptions? Understanding the root cause can help you address and manage feeling shame more effectively.

Practice self-compassion

Treat yourself with kindness and understanding, just as you would a friend in a similar situation. Acknowledge that everyone makes mistakes and that imperfections are part of the human experience. Self-compassion involves forgiving yourself and recognizing your inherent worth, despite any shortcomings.

Challenge negative thoughts

Shame often thrives on distorted thinking patterns and negative self-talk. Engage in cognitive restructuring by identifying and challenging these negative thoughts. It is normal to have an inner critic of ourselves, but negative self-talk can cause a shame spiral. Replace them with more balanced, rational, and positive thoughts about yourself. Affirmations can be particularly helpful in reinforcing your self-worth.

Engage in mindfulness and self-care

Mindfulness practices, such as meditation and deep breathing, can help you stay present and reduce rumination on shameful feelings. Self-care activities that promote your physical and mental health, such as exercise, hobbies, and spending time in nature, can also help build shame resilience. 

Practice acceptance and move forward 

Accept that making mistakes and feeling inadequate at times are natural parts of life. Focus on the present and future rather than dwelling on past actions. Redirect your energy towards positive and constructive activities that reinforce your sense of worth and accomplishment.

How Charlie Health can help 

If you or a loved one are struggling with negative thoughts and shame, Charlie Health is here to help. Charlie Health’s virtual Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) provides more than once-weekly mental health treatment for young people and families dealing with serious mental health conditions. Our expert clinicians incorporate evidence-based therapies into individual counseling, family therapy, and group sessions. With this kind of holistic treatment, managing your mental health is possible. Fill out the form below or give us a call to start healing today.  

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