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5 Ways To Deal With Your Shadow Self

Written by: Giannina Carlino, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Your shadow self is best described as personality traits, emotions, and thoughts that are hard to accept about yourself. We all wish to be big bright lights, helping one another, seeing ourselves as God's gift to Earth. The reality of these wishes would create an unbalanced world, and along the way, we have forgotten that life is not all light, laughter, and happiness. And it’s about time we accept that fact. But most importantly, learn how to deal with it.

Young girl doing shadow play.

Becoming a Shaman taught me how to start facing my dark side, offering it compassion, time, and gratitude so that I can stop ASPIRING to be a big bright light instead BE the big bright star that I am. And guess what? – The only way that is possible is to embrace my dark side and my light side and walk hand in hand together because bright shining stars do not shine in the day. They shine at night in the dark. Here are 5 ways that will help you handle your Shadow Self.

1. Acknowledgement: How do you acknowledge your shadow self?

You acknowledge your shadow self through your emotions. ‒ Emotions like anger, hatred, frustration, anxiety, depression, jealousy, annoyance, and negative thoughts.

I know it’s hard when you are experiencing any of these emotions to acknowledge them, but the first step to doing this is becoming consciously aware of what it is you are saying and/or how you are feeling. When you catch yourself in these emotions, take a deep breathe and ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is this emotion I am feeling?

  • Do I feel hurt (by their actions and/or words)?

  • Why do I feel like this?

  • Why has this triggered me?

  • Have I experienced this before?

2. Processing: How do you process your shadow self?

TALK IT OUT!!! Talking is the best way to vent. It gets you through the processing a lot faster. Talk it to yourself, a loved one, someone you trust, someone you know will listen, understands you are venting and does not want to create gossip from your sharing. Whatever you do, voice it.

If you do not have a trustworthy person to vent to, then journal and write it all out. Using the above questions is a great way to prompt you to process what needs to be processed.

3. Compassion

Compassion… ahhh. Just sit for a moment and say that word. Compassion. The more you say the word, you feel it echo throughout your bones and your nervous system. Allow the word Compassion to sit deep within your body.

Being compassionate to yourself is a trait I am certain 99.9% of the population fails to do. When do we ever sit and tell ourselves that we love ourselves? When do we ever truly put ourselves first and offer ourselves an act of kindness? We don’t, so when you are working with your shadow self, do your best to do something for yourself. When you action that self-kindness, be sure to say it out loud, I am doing this to treat myself with kindness and love. It will help transmute some of the denser energy that comes with shadow work.

4. Self-Care: How does self-care help your shadow self.

When you are working on your shadow self, it can be very overwhelming, full of heavy and dense energy, you need light to counterbalance the dark. The best way to do this is to have three self-care practices that bring you joy and peace. Having a self-care practice helps you realign with who you are and reassures yourself that even when times are tough, you are choosing to support yourself whilst reminding yourself in all this darkness; light and beauty can be found, and this will bring great comfort and peace. When you are practising these, I strongly advise doing them on your own (where possible, of course). Check out my favourite and recommended self-care practices for your mind, body, and soul:

  • Self-Care practices for your Mind:

    • My favourite: Gardening

    • Recommended: Read in nature, play a game outside, camp, meditate, a getaway trip, cook, learn something new, attend seminars or workshops, listen to podcasts, photograph, take yourself out for dinner, and Martial arts.

  • Self-Care practices for your Body:

    • My favourite: Have a Bath

    • Recommended: Bath, Acupuncture, Massage, Sound Healing, Hair/Make-up/Nails, be creative paint/draw/sketch, dress up and eat ice cream.

  • Self-Care practices for your Soul:

    • My favourite: Hiking

    • Recommended: Swim in nature, Rock Climb, Canoeing, or any form of adventurous sport (that you can do in Nature is an added bonus).

5. Gratitude

I'm a big believer in gratitude. I think it's one of the most powerful ways you can truly change your life, as well as shift your energy from shadow work to light work. The more you neglect your shadow self, the more it demands attention. Sometimes in our busy schedules, we cannot process shadow work for months on end, so getting into a grateful state of mind can really help you shift energy when things are getting too much.

Gratitude is not just about being thankful for what you have but also recognizing how lucky you are to have whatever it is that brought you joy or comfort at that moment. Here are some tips for practising gratitude:

  • Start small ‒ start by thinking about the little things that make your day better, like a cup of coffee or a fresh shower.

  • Write down what makes you grateful ‒ either on paper or digitally, and write down everything that brings joy into your life, even if it’s just a few minutes of peace and quiet. This helps to reinforce these moments in your mind and allows them to become part of who you are as an individual.

  • Share your gratitude with others ‒ be it via text message or email. Sharing the good vibes can help spread joy which will make everyone involved feel better!

  • Be intentional ‒ try not to let gratitude slip away when it comes naturally; instead, think about what makes you happy and focus on those things throughout the day/weekend/month, etc…

Finally, good luck adapting your new skill set to dealing with your shadow self.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and visit my website for more info!


Giannina Carlino, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Giannina has been able to communicate with spirit since childhood, after many years of suffering from a family curse, her perpetrators let their guard down and Giannina managed to break free and embody her spiritual gift. Giannina heard her calling to become a Shaman and trained as a Shamanic Practitioner. She has since quickly gained recognition for her transformational healings across the country, working alongside her parents, who are also Shamans.

During Giannina’s Shamanic ceremony, she was given the blessing of Mother Energy and draws upon Mother, to transform trauma and pain into forgiveness and love. She works closely to bring deep healing to individuals, buildings and land. – It is no surprise Giannina’s given shamanic name is Mother, as hidden within her name is GAIA.

Giannina’s passion is to help others and what better way than through her natural gift of spiritual healing? Understanding her role in this life is to leave Humanity better than how she found it; Giannina is the Founder of Humans of Humanity, where she offers Shamanic healing for all who seek it, she is also the CEO of Gentle Grow, where she sells conscious products.



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