Overcome Negative Thoughts by Processing Fear, Shame & Anger
Many mental health issues and relationship challenges are triggered by unconscious dynamics of fear, shame, and anger. By processing these emotions you will be able to overcome negative thoughts & emotions by healing them from the source.
There are many types of fear:
- Our fear of the unknown
- fear of judgment and self-judgment
- fear of abandonment
Often times these fears trigger withdrawal or aggression, which are known as shame-avoidant behaviors.
Feelings of fear, shame, and aggression are natural and normal. However, experiencing these emotions is difficult and overwhelming, so we often mask them or suppress them.
Also, fear, shame, and anger are emotions that often tangle with the process of forgiveness. Processing these feelings is essential for your mental health and healthy relationships.
The Role of Fear and Shame in Forgiveness
Shame is a self-conscious emotion that stems from our belief that we are at the core flawed, worthless, or inadequate. People who grew up in an unhealthy environment that caused them to feel afraid, unsafe, and abandoned usually internalize distorted self-perception of their own inadequacy and worthlessness.
In the process of forgiveness, it often happens that the victim internalizes shame that belongs to the one who caused harm. They assume that the resentment was somehow their fault.
As a result of not feeling loved, accepted, or valued, children develop fear and the belief that he or she is not loved because there is something wrong with them. Consequently, they internalized shame and the effects of hurt, believing that hurt was somehow their fault. An unhealthy attachment with a primary caregiver, such as fearful-avoidant attachment with either abusive or cruel caregivers, may cause a child to feel generally unsafe.
Shame causes you to plant self-critical thoughts of failure, guilt, and worthlessness in your subconscious mind. These thoughts, in turn, affect your self-esteem and confidence, triggering feelings of insecurity, anxiety, loneliness, and other mental health challenges.
Feelings Hiding Behind Anger
Anger typically arouses as a response to other emotions, such as hurt, shame, guilt, or fear. Initially, the hurt is always accompanied by anger. However, in a desire to escape grief, fear, and shame a person may avoid forgiveness and hide behind anger.
It is much safer to feel angry than to have to deal with painful emotions. Over time, you may develop a habit of masking all your hurtful emotions with anger to avoid experiencing them. You may feel anger as a substitute for other emotions that are too disturbing to deal with.
So, anger is a multidimensional process: on one hand, you are angry with the person who caused the pain. On the other hand, your experience anger on a more personal level, unconsciously using it to mask the other hurtful feelings and cover them with feelings of power, control, and anger.
How to Process Fear, Shame, and Anger and Get Back to Yourself
To overcome negative thoughts and disturbing emotions of fear, shame, and anger – ground yourself in the present. Practice mindfulness meditation to focus your attention on the present moment and allow yourself to experience all the feelings that come up to you. We often struggle because we are trying to avoid these feelings, so it is important to let yourself fully experience them and let go of them.
Focus on your emotions and mindfully acknowledge them without self-judgment and self-criticism. The best way to overcome shame, fear, and anger is through self-compassion and acceptance. There are many ways to practice self-compassion, for example, acknowledging your feelings can help you switch from blaming to understanding. Understanding that forgiveness and self-forgiveness is a choice will help you heal and come to terms with your fear and shame-provoking experiences.