Have you ever thought about how shame and anxiety can be intertwined? When I am struggling with shame, I often feel anxious and worried about whether I’ll find relief. Other times, I can feel shame around how often my anxiety seems to derail me.
But I’ve learned some things about shame and anxiety along the way that I hope will help you begin to work through your difficult feelings and find healing.
What to Know About Dealing with Anxiety
If I’m feeling overwhelmed by my emotions, chances are I haven’t spent the time needed to “untangle” them. It helps me to think through things and gain a better understanding of what I’m feeling.
- Do I remember what shame feels like?
- How has my anxiety shown up in my mind and body in the past?
- How are these feelings different from one another?
I might write about these feelings in a journal, or spend time meditating to clear my mind. It often helps to “unplug” from devices and social media so I can be alone with my thoughts and more attentive to my feelings.
Sometimes I need a change of scenery to help me “reset” emotionally. I enjoy going for walks, visiting local parks and museums, or reading my favorite books.
When I’m really lacking clarity, it helps to remember that God cares about my feelings, and I can pray about those feelings, no matter what they are.
When I’m feeling bogged down by shame, and starting to worry, it helps me to remember what’s true. When I’m embarrassed or ashamed of how much anxiety seems to affect me, I remember the facts. I’ve overcome anxiety before, and learned a lot in the process. I’ve been reminded over and over again that, though I make mistakes, I still have value and importance.
Your feelings may be strong, and that’s normal. But remember the truth, you are worthy of love and acceptance from others, and from yourself. People care about you. You are not the first person to experience these tough feelings. Many others have been down this path, and there are plenty of people who can help you get to the other side of shame and anxiety.
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One of the most effective ways to manage feelings of anxiety and shame is to mention them. Connecting with others helps us feel less alone in our feelings, and less overwhelmed by them. When you know other people feel the same way you do, it’s encouraging to know you’re not the only one. When you talk with someone about how they’ve worked through difficult emotions in the past, it gives you ideas for the present and future.
If you’re not sure who to talk to, you can start right here. TheHopeLine offers confidential live chat with a HopeCoach to help you heal from shame and anxiety. We are here to listen and support you without judgment, and we look forward to hearing your story.
If you need someone to pray for your feelings of shame and anxiety to lift, find a prayer partner now. You’re not alone, and we care about your healing.
Are you feeling worn out and down about life, please read this blog with 31 tips to boost your mental health.
Photo Credit: Alex Brisbey