Shame & Triggers

Let’s Talk About Shame & Triggers with Sarah Carter

Have you ever had the experience of your knees going weak? Or perhaps you’re triggered by something on TV, or a comment from your loved one? All the sudden it feels like you have time warped to an earlier time. All the sudden you feel it in your stomach, heart and it feels like you have been sucker punched.

Brené Brown says our physical reaction to shame is much the same as our reaction to trauma or painful experiences. We store emotions in our bodies when a situation arises that reminds us of our past shame, Shame brings up all the times we felt that emotion and we feel it in our body.

1) First thing we need to do is get real and authentic and start to become aware of our emotions and the reactions that happen in our bodies. Our bodies/emotions communicate to us when something isn’t right. This can be very overwhelming, especially if you deal with anxiety/depression or any other number of emotional or health struggles. We start by first identifying what sets us off. What pushes your buttons and why? What is the story we are telling ourselves about our co-worker, friend, child or loved one. Is it true? Then, we notice how we are talking to ourselves. If we hear “ You are not good enough or You should be doing this better or Why can’t you just _______.We know it is shame talking to us.

2) We need to identify shame and listen to shame before we can change it, I know, I know, it’s not pretty, and we don’t want to do it. But…if we listen to shame we are choosing to own our stories instead of hustling for worthiness and letting shame run our lives. As we become more aware of when shame is showing up then we can start to process, talk about it and work through it. Journaling has been very helpful to me and to some of my clients. Write down what you are feeling and where you are feeling it in your body. You will be amazed at how just identifying shame can help you move through it. Ask for help and support from a trusted loved one. Someone who can help you see past shame. Yoga helps us to release emotions, calm down our nervous system, balance our mind and bodies through breath and movement. It allows our minds and bodies time to settle, soothe and acknowledge our authentic self.

3) Positive affirmations: When we change our self-talk we change our core beliefs. If you have a core belief of “ I am not good enough”, notice when shame is talking. Then, compassionately notice your thoughts and emotions. Look in the mirror and identify an affirmation. Repeat it when that emotion comes up again.

a. I am enough

b. I deserve love and belonging

c. I am a brave warrior

d. I can do hard things.

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