Did you know its possible that an actual emotion can cause physical symptoms in your body?
You have heard terms such as “you should be ashamed of yourself” “what a shame” and “no shame”. This word gets thrown around as a loose threat or a surprising reality and the truth is that it does more harm than it could ever do good and no one’s really stops to consider the effects.
Shame has been used for centuries to keep communities together, doing so by shaming people into conforming. Our society has kept this up and instead of bringing people together it has caused people to retreat and isolate themselves.
Everyone has felt the emotional effects of shame at one point or another: embarrassment, fear, shyness, anger, rage, anxiety, envy and anytime there is an emotional reaction to something the body will respond physically.
We see this with heartache, you can literally feel the tightening in your chest, there is also scientific evidence that an emotional heartbreak can cause damage to the strings in the heart.
We see this with stress – the symptoms are endless really but stomach aches, tense muscles, headaches, crying etc.
Shame is one of those emotions that comes up when you believe that there is something wrong with you. It is different from guilt in that guilt is the belief you have done something wrong, something for which there is usually a remedy or amends for. Shame is deep seated. It is literally a strike against the soul.
Shame is believing that who you are is not enough, broken, damaged, no good, wrong, sinful.
The thing about shame is that, it comes from thinking a belief that is untrue. Either by a standard set by society, your family or yourself through observation and interpretation.
Awareness is the first step in starting to release shame. Noticing when you feel the effects of shame and digging deeper into recognizing where this comes from. A lot of the shame that is felt comes from childhood, it may have been a big event or one thing someone said or did to you. Either way it is important to notice it and then allow yourself to release it.
Physiologically your body will respond to the emotion of shame and in turn you will experience immediate symptoms such as:
Shrinking yourself smaller
Diverting eye contact
But moreover the long term effects of shame run deeper and can be felt even when you are not consciously aware of feeling shame.
Shame creates a stress response and stress creates a cortisol release. If you are a highly sensitive person, you are already likely in fight or flight mode more often than not which means you are Heading into if not already, an adrenaline deficit. Being ashamed of who you are because you are “different” from the majority of the population adds to the stress you already feel as a sensitive. It can be a viscous cycle if it is not managed.
Digestive issues abound in someone who is living behind a veil of shame.
Inflammation & infection is higher in bodies that are subjected to constant shame.
As every emotion has a physical counterpart the effects of shame are felt in the pancreas and duodenum. These are the parts of your body that are crucial to digestion and elimination. When shame is felt in the body, these organs want to expel. They want to work to get rid of what feels “disgusting” <- the root of shame. Holding the emotion of shame in your body can cause further damage to these organs.
Shame can lay a heavy beating on your immune system , digestive system and overall your ability and will to thrive in this world.
Spiritually and energetically your solar plexus is the area that is also affected by shame. The solar plexus area is the power centre for self esteem and self worth. It only makes sense that this would be out of balance if shame were living in your body.
Releasing shame takes time. It takes time to recognize it, then it takes time to gently work it out of your body and your mindset. It didn’t happen overnight, you have been living with it for years, so it is going to take some time to undo the doing. But it is possible.
Compassion, forgiveness and love are important tools to use when moving from a place of shame into being your true self, unapologetically. Talking with someone who understands, listens, has empathy and can help you learn to love yourself will help you greatly.
Deep inside you know who you are and at your very core you know that who you are is enough. But believing in standards set by a society that is just following the crowd, has you stuck in a mindset that you are not enough.
Listen, the people who have led you to feel shame are no different than you. They are just trying to get it right too. But the truth is there is no “right way”. Sure it is important to have dignity for yourself and be respectful, loving and kind towards other as well as yourself. But you do not have to conform to a way of thinking just because most people think or feel that way.
You are allowed to be you. You are allowed to set your own beliefs, your own rules and most importantly, your own boundaries.
Whether you want to enjoy margaritas on a Wednesday, eat breakfast for dinner and dessert first, whether you want to have sex every day with someone new, or no sex at all, whether you want to join a nudist colony and hug trees or crunch numbers on wall street, whether you cry a lot or laugh uncontrollably or both at the same time because you feel everything so damn much, whether you weigh too much or not enough. All of it is okay. Who you are at your core was created by something bigger than this life itself and not one other person who was created by the same amount of cells and energy has any right to judge you and the way you were created.
Who you are is OK. Learning to love and accept yourself can take time, but it can also save your life.
If you are ready to release your shame, own who you are and ultimately heal your body, mind and soul then let’s chat about working together. I use nutrition, mindset work, energy clearing and healing as well as movement/exercise to completely transform your health. Info@janinefournier.com
Love yourself shamelessly XO