23rd January, 2024

How to Get Out of a Toxic Shame Spiral

With Rachel Morris

Dr Rachel Morris

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On this episode

We all experience shame from time to time, but when it becomes toxic, we can end up in a shame spiral from which it’s difficult to escape. When we’re called out on something about which we feel shameful, it can make us defensive. And so often, no-one can punish us as harshly as we punish ourselves.

In this quick dip episode, Rachel shares her strategy to break free from shame spirals and cultivate a healthier mindset; by sharing our shame, taking some perspective, and seeking support from others. She unpacks her SHAME model that was inspired by a recent spiral, which is a simple five-step framework for working through the sensations of shame and finding a way to be kinder to ourselves.

Shame doesn’t make us better people – it only makes us harder on ourselves and leads to us being defensive. So this episode offers a chance to break free of that spiral, remember that we’re human, and remind ourselves we’re doing our best.

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Reasons to listen

  • To discover how shame can impact our internal mindset and contribute to burnout
  • To learn about the complex nature of shame and how it shows up
  • To explore strategies and techniques to break free from shame spirals and cultivate a healthier mindset

Episode highlights


What’s on your pop bottle label?


When our actions clash with our values


What our ingrained stories tell us


Share your shame


Hang outwith useless friends




Multiple identities


Empathy and understanding

Episode transcript

[00:00:00] **Rachel:** Today. I’d like to talk a little bit about shame and what happens when we don’t think that we’re good enough. Because I’ve been saying a lot of podcasts recently, particularly in 2023 around shame around fear around guilt and this all stems from my belief that we get burned out, not because of external circumstances, but because of our internal mindset, because when we try and say no, when we try and set boundaries to allow ourselves to keep ourselves well, fit, happy, connected, the thing that stops us is this feeling of over-responsibility and the feeling…

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