Where is shame stored in the body?
Shame is an emotion that can be quite powerful and difficult to manage. It’s part of the fight or flight response, triggered by a situation or experience that makes us feel embarrassed, humiliated, or inadequate. But where is this overwhelming feeling of shame stored in the body? Research shows that shame is connected to the limbic system, and is often stored in the bladder, gallbladder, heart, jaw, kidneys, liver, lungs, and sacrum.
Shame and the Limbic System
According to Gerald Fishkin, a California-based psychologist and author of The Science of Shame, the experience of shame is connected with the limbic system. That’s the part of the brain that influences the autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for the fight-or-flight response.
Shame is often associated with a feeling of helplessness and vulnerability, and is triggered when an individual is unable to escape a presented situation. Shame often manifests itself in physical responses like trembling, shallow breathing, or a racing heart. It can also cause sweating, increased blood pressure, and a tightening of the throat and stomach.
One important fact to remember is that shame is different from guilt, though they can sometimes be difficult to differentiate.Guilt usually relates to bad behaviour, while shame is more related to a sense of being bad.
Shame Is Stored In the Body
Research suggests that many of us store shame in our bodies, often in the same places where we store fear or other negative emotions. It is believed that when an experience or situation makes us feel emotionally overwhelmed, our body unconsciously and involuntarily stores the memory of that feeling in our physical body.
This physical response to shame is related to the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). When trigger experiences or thoughts floods the mind with shame, our bodies become flooded with adrenaline, which can cause us to feel shaky, tense or uneasy. In an attempt to cope, we may try to push away the feeling of shame, but it is still stored in our bodies.
Common Places Where Shame is Stored in the Body
Due to this connection between the body and shame, it's important to understand where shame might be stored, and how to release it. According to experts, common places where shame is stored in the body include the bladder, gallbladder, heart, jaw, kidneys, liver, lungs, and sacrum.
Bladder: Anxiety is commonly stored in the bladder, and is linked to feelings of shame.
Gallbladder: Resentment is often stored in the gallbladder, and can cause feelings of shame.
Heart: The heart is associated with love, but can also be associated with shame.
Jaw: Frustration and anger are both often stored in the jaw, and are associated with shame.
Kidneys: The kidneys often store shame, as they are associated with feelings of insecurity.
Liver: Anger is often stored in the liver, and this can lead to feelings of shame.
Lungs: Grief is associated with our lungs, and feelings of shame may arise with this emotion.
Sacrum: Fear is often stored in the sacrum, and is linked to feelings of shame.
Stomach: Stress or worry may be stored in the stomach, leading to feelings of shame.
Releasing Stored Shame
It's important to understand how to effectively release the emotions that are stored in our bodies. Often, we might recognize a feeling and have an urge to suppress it. But it's important to acknowledge these feelings, to process them and find ways to cope.
Some helpful tips for releasing stored shame include relaxation exercises such as deep breathing, mindfulness, and journaling. Exercise can also be a great way to release these stored emotions, as it can create positive endorphins and release tension in the body. Looking for professional help can also be a great way to identify and release stored shame, allowing you to move on with your life.
In conclusion, shame is an emotion that is connected to the fight or flight response, and is often stored in the body in places like the bladder, gallbladder, heart, jaw, kidneys, liver, lungs, and sacrum. It's important to understand how to effectively release stored shame, so we can process and cope with difficult feelings in a healthy manner.