16 Suggestions to Help You Address and Overcome Shame and Grief

Understanding and addressing the emotional effects of shame and grief is crucial for mental well-being and personal growth. Recognizing that everyone experiences these emotions at times can help individuals feel less isolated in their struggles and encourage them to seek support and practice self-compassion. Here are some strategies to counteract the effects of low-frequency emotions like shame and grief and raise the body's overall vibrational frequency:

1. Therapy: Seeking help from a mental health professional can provide a safe space to explore and address feelings of shame and grief. A clinical psychologist, after reading my 41-year experiences told me that I had “several, SEVERAL, traumatic experiences” from which I needed help. I have been to several professionals and greatly appreciate each one.

2. Self-Compassion: Practicing self-compassion means treating oneself with kindness and understanding, especially during difficult times. This can be challenging when grief and shame make us feel hopeless and blame ourselves. However, giving ourselves grace and mercy can transform despair into hope. Allow yourself to cry and sob, as this release shows your inner self-compassion. In fact, I still cry when I sense the grief of loss. As of this writing, I have cried today.

3. Support Systems: Building and maintaining supportive relationships can provide validation and counteract feelings of shame and grief. I recently reconnected with a friend from 48 years ago, someone who knew me before I became immersed and lost in an unhealthy relationship. Hearing what I was like before, although painful for me to hear and know of that loss, has been very helpful for me to go forward to reclaim myself.

4. Mindfulness: Mindfulness practices can help individuals become aware of their emotions without judgment, reducing the power of shame and grief.

5. Challenging Negative Beliefs: Actively challenging and reframing negative beliefs about oneself can help break the cycle of shame.

6. Positive Thinking and Affirmations: Engaging in positive self-talk and affirmations can help shift one's emotional state from shame and grief to more empowering emotions. This has been a powerful help; I have felt it work on my emotions and actually have seen improvements. I always use essential oils to enhance the effect of the affirmations.

Please check this page of my website for more information on essential oils: Essential Oils

Here are some examples of how I do my affirmations:

While inhaling Jasmine and rubbing it over my liver and lungs, I say aloud these words: “I release blame of myself, my ex, and my parents. I choose to let go of the grief from my decision to marry him. Instead, I open my heart today to love, goodness, and freedom, knowing I am worthy of mercy and grace. I recognize that I gained valuable wisdom and experience in my unhealthy marriage. I enter life boldly as a valued person.”

While inhaling SARA (Sexual Abuse and Ritual Abuse - this particular blend is also good for anyone who has experienced traumatic birthing issues or any type of abuse) and rubbing it over my heart and bladder, I say aloud these words: “no weapon - physical or emotional - formed against me will prosper.”

While inhaling Neroli and rubbing it over my lungs, pituitary, large intestine, and thoracic spine, I say aloud these words: “I am worthy of love. I am at peace with my past - I release the pains of my past decisions so that I can give love freely. I release the past and live in peace now, as I strive toward whatever lies ahead.”

I used 3 books to help me create the above affirmations: Feelings Buried Alive Never Die, Karol K. Truman. The Pathway to Emotional Healing, Jen McCraw. Releasing Emotional Patterns with Essential Oils, Carolyn L. Mein, DC. 

7. Physical Activity: Exercise increases endorphin levels and elevates mood, contributing to a higher vibrational frequency. Recently I joined a local gym and have found that I enjoy my workouts. I definitely have a spring in my step after each workout.

8. Healthy Diet: Consuming nutrient-rich foods can support overall health and well-being, promoting a higher vibrational state. 

There are two activities that I believe have helped keep me from becoming very sick from my grief and shame. This is one of them. I know how unhealthy foods and synthetics create extra stress on the body and brain, and I also know of the importance of animal fats (Omega 3s) for supporting the nervous system. I take supplements to increase the nutrient content of my foods. I need all the help I can get to help my brain work on healing my emotions. 

Check this page on my website for a few free downloads to help with understanding the diet. https://withterri.com/page/healthy-living

9. Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Certain essential oils, like Lavender and Frankincense, are believed to have high vibrational frequencies and can help uplift mood and reduce feelings of shame and grief. Specific essential oils, which include lavender and frankincense, are central to the Aroma Freedom Technique.

This, I believe, is the second reason I have been so healthy while grieving. The limbic system of the brain is the seat of emotions and memory processing (besides many other functions) and is directly affected by the sense of smell, the only one of our five senses that has a direct connection to the limbic system. I have heavily used essential oils ever since 2012 for a variety of reasons, including with saying affirmations. My limbic system has been strengthened so that I have not succumbed to the worst that my grief and shame would typically bring me down to.

10. Therapeutic Techniques: Techniques like Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), also known as tapping; Aroma Freedom Technique (AFT), a process that combines the use of essential oils with the principles of psychology and neurobiology, developed by Dr. Benjamin Perkus, a clinical psychologist and essential oil expert; Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, a mental health treatment technique; and other energy healing practices can help release negative emotions and raise the body's frequency. Each of these helps process traumatic memories.

11. Music: Music can help - or it can harm - your efforts to think positively and give you the strength to continue the heavy effort to heal. Music can be a versatile and effective tool for addressing grief and shame, offering emotional expression, mood regulation, physical and mental relaxation, cognitive benefits, and therapeutic uses. 

It's crucial to choose music that uplifts and supports your emotional well-being. Listening to negative music can reinforce feelings of sadness and despair, hindering your healing process. Integrating positive and soothing music into daily routines and therapeutic practices can significantly aid in overcoming grief and shame. I have found listening to beach wave sounds - no music - is also highly relaxing. That's what I play when I give massages.

Music is part of my soul; I listen to it to uplift me and at times to match my emotions, giving value to my feelings. It’s one thing to relate to the music; it’s quite another to allow music to bring me down. 

12. Journaling: Journaling is a powerful tool for facilitating emotional expression, cognitive processing, emotional regulation, self-compassion, and resilience. By providing a safe space for reflection and expression, journaling supports the healing process from grief and shame in numerous ways. Although I do not journal often - I don’t like to write down my thoughts and feelings - I recently recognized how beneficial it can be. After my most recent discouraging day, I am now ready to write my thoughts; they can help me see my progress and the wisdom I gain through my experiences of turning pain into something positive. 

It’s important to focus on the positive aspects of your journey, rather than reliving past traumas. Acknowledge any slip-ups with grace and use them as learning experiences. Journaling can serve as a guide to help you navigate your healing process and celebrate your growth.

13. Sleep: Sleep is a vital component in overcoming grief and shame. However, those with grief and shame typically have feelings of intense sadness, anxiety, rumination, worthlessness, and self-criticism, which can keep the mind active at night, making it difficult to fall and stay asleep for the full amount of time the brain needs.

Adequate sleep is essential for memory consolidation, emotional regulation, cognitive function, brain health, physical health, neurotransmitter balance, and overall mental well-being. It is a critical component for the brain to function optimally and maintain overall health.

Typical sleep problems of those with grief and shame are insomnia, hypersomnia (sleeping excessively to avoid the pain), fragmented sleep, and very early morning awakening. 

Sleep supports emotional regulation, cognitive processing, and physical health, all of which are essential for healing and recovery. Prioritizing good sleep hygiene can significantly aid in the journey toward emotional well-being. There will be times when you just need to sleep. Understand that this is part of your healing, and allow yourself to take that nap.

14. Cry: Crying is a natural and beneficial response to emotional distress, offering several health advantages. It serves as a powerful release mechanism, allowing individuals to process and express deep emotions like sadness, grief, and frustration. Crying can reduce stress by lowering levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and it stimulates the production of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers and mood enhancers. This emotional release helps to clear the mind, enabling better focus and problem-solving abilities. 

Additionally, tears help detoxify the body by flushing out toxins and bacteria, protecting against infection. Embracing crying as a healthy and essential part of emotional well-being can enhance mental health and resilience. Allow yourself to cry, even sob, as it is a vital step in improving your emotional health and overcoming the grief and shame you feel.

15. Physical Response to Emotions: You will likely experience some type of physical response to trauma, whether it be physical or emotional. Dr. Candace Pert (1946-2013), a pioneering neuroscientist and pharmacologist, made groundbreaking contributions to the field of psychoneuroimmunology, the study of how the mind and body interact to influence health and disease. Her discovery of the opiate receptor and exploration of the biochemical underpinnings of emotions provided critical insights into the mind-body connection. 

In her book, Molecules of Emotion: Why You Feel the Way You Feel, Dr. Pert explains how our emotions are intricately connected to our physical health. The limbic system, responsible for processing emotions, will handle emotions effectively if we feel safe. However, if the brain senses danger, those emotions can be stored as molecules somewhere in the body, often leading to illness in that area. When this area is later stimulated, these stored emotions can be released, sometimes resulting in intense physical reactions.

This concept was understood several hundred years ago. 
“The organs weep the tears the eyes refuse to shed.” 
Sir William Osler, 18th Century physician.
I've experienced this myself, with body-wracking sobs that sound like a wailing toddler. I have had to bury my head in a pillow to muffle the sound as my body releases the traumatic pain. This is normal. Please love yourself as these emotions are being released. There is only one path to full healing. Embrace that path and allow the healing.

Even today as I finished the editing, I felt deep grief—I cried, and my chest hurt. This chest pain was the physical sensation of loss, like being heartbroken. I understand how some have died from a broken heart, although I certainly am not at that level. However, with all the tools and methods available to me, I chose a couple and felt the relief I sought, including stopping the crying and alleviating the chest pain.

16. Epsom Salt Baths: Epsom salt baths can support healing from grief in various ways. The magnesium sulfate in Epsom salts helps relax muscles and relieve tension while promoting serotonin production to reduce stress. The warm water provides a calming effect, creating an environment for peaceful emotional release and introspection. When taken at night, an Epsom salt bath can relax the body for improved sleep. Additionally, Epsom salts aid in detoxifying the body, which can alleviate the physical burden of emotional distress. 

The bath ritual serves as a form of self-care and grounding, offering stability and normalcy during emotional upheaval. Adding essential oils, such as lavender or chamomile, can enhance these calming effects. Making Epsom salt baths a regular self-care routine can provide comprehensive physical, emotional, and mental benefits, facilitating a holistic approach to healing from grief.

Prayer: You may be surprised that I don't include prayer or reliance on a higher being. While some people find that prayer can bring peace, true healing requires personal effort. It's easy to rely solely on prayer without doing the necessary work. You must recognize what you need to do; seek divine strength to support your efforts if you would like, but remember that the work is ultimately yours, and it is work. Through this process, you will gain strength and confidence in yourself and your abilities.

By adopting these practices, individuals can work towards healing and maintaining a balanced, healthy state of being. Allow yourself time to grieve and experience what I call the pain of the purge. Give yourself grace and mercy to feel the full extent of your emotional pain. Healing is not an overnight project. For me, the grief did not occur overnight, and neither will the healing. Be patient with yourself and expect the process to take time.

I have often been told that I am worth the effort of healing. It's hard to believe, given my years of grief and shame. However, I tell you - you are worthy. Trust those who love you and do all you can to elevate yourself to higher frequencies, where you can experience joy, love, and peace. I yearn for these, so I must work to achieve them. You must, too.

I’m a proud affiliate for some of these tools and products that are suggested on this page and throughout my site. If you click on a product and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. My recommendations are based on knowledge and experience and I recommend them because they are genuinely useful, not because of the small commission I may receive


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