While most of us focus on the present and our conscious thoughts as we go through life, some feelings and emotions lurk in the shadows. These are part of your subconscious, and many are thoughts we want to avoid.

While delving into your subconscious may create some anxiety, it’s also a journey that could offer you tremendous long-term benefits. Let’s look at what shadow work is and what it can do for you.

Overview of Shadow Work

We should begin by answering the question, “What is shadow work?” to ensure that you understand enough about the method to decide if you want to try it. Shadow work is a psychotherapy technique [1] that helps you explore and ideally resolve emotions you’ve suppressed over the years.

It’s essential to remember that everything you’ve experienced in life has contributed to the person you are today. However, there are experiences we may want to forget, and some of us could push these memories into the subconscious mind. However, in some cases, they may come back to haunt us later.

When you do shadow work, you work on uncovering your hidden feelings, emotions, and thoughts. The primary goal of the technique is to acknowledge and understand your feelings as you experience them.

Shadow Work Advantages

Now that you understand shadow work, let’s explore its many potential benefits. Note that the specific advantages may differ from one person to another because we’re all unique. It might also be hard for some people to dig into their subconscious mind and face issues they’ve been avoiding. These are the main benefits of shadow work.

  • Promotes a Feeling of Wholeness: Self-awareness plays an important role in good mental health, but focusing on the positives exclusively makes personal development more difficult. By calling forth the issues you’ve been trying to avoid, you may become more aware of who you are, where you come from, and what you want in the future, for a feeling of greater wholeness.
  • Improves Social Interactions: When you have hidden emotions that you don’t confront, it can affect your interactions with others. For example, having an unhealthy relationship could make it difficult for you to bond with future partners. By acknowledging and understanding your emotions about your relationships, you can improve your ability to connect with others.
  • Heals Generational Trauma: Generational trauma is hardship passed from one generation to the next for a particular group. It affects many people, and through shadow work, you can explore your feelings about these traumatic events.

  • Builds Healthy Coping Skills: Everyone has needs, and how you meet them depends on your coping skills. Some turn to unhealthy habits when they have hidden emotions, but shadow work helps you develop more resilience.

What is Shadow Repression?

Shadow repression isn’t a new term. First described by prominent Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung [2], he theorized that we all have both a conscious and a shadow self. The term shadow repression describes our hidden feelings and emotions, which we direct onto a persona called the shadow self. He further postulates that if you continue to repress your emotions, it overloads the shadow self, leading to mental health issues like fear, anxiety, and depression.

The Shadow Work Method

Some people might find it difficult to practice shadow work at first, as it’s a method that takes time and patience. However, once you get the hang of it, it becomes easier. There are several ways you can begin doing shadow work. Let’s take a closer look at some of the best methods:

  • Be mindful of your triggers and try to observe them from a distance.
  • Don’t keep your shadow self to yourself; discuss your feelings with friends and/or a therapist.
  • Don’t be afraid to pay close attention to your inner dialogue.
  • Take note of your emotions and how they change throughout the day.
  • Regularly repeat truthful positive affirmations to boost your self-esteem.
  • Keep a daily or weekly journal. Write in it often, and you’ll notice patterns in your emotions and be able to identify triggers.

Unveiling the Shadow Self

Doing a ‘shadow test’ is one of the best ways to explore your shadow self and its dominant traits, and there are different testing options. You can look for a therapist with experience in this area, and they can assess how much you repress your shadow self.

The initial session helps you better understand yourself and can form a solid foundation for beginning shadow work. In addition, several websites offer this type of test, so you may want to start with a basic assessment to assess the depth of your shadow self.

The 5 Best Shadow Work Techniques

We’ve briefly looked at how to do shadow work and how to incorporate the technique into your daily life. These are 5 specific exercises to help you unveil your shadow self and face issues you may have repressed.

1. Depletion vs. Elevation

Some things deplete us of energy, the will to move forward, and motivation. Other things can elevate these same feelings, which leads to healthier life choices like improving physical activity levels. Each individual has different factors that deplete or elevate, so it’s important to observe your own life and surroundings and start categorizing them.

2. Say it Out Loud

If you experience a negative emotion, don’t repress it and burden your shadow self. Instead, say it out loud, even if it’s just to yourself and not to friends or family. Another good option is to talk to a therapist about your feelings.

Shadow Self

3. Evaluate the Times That You Overdo it

Assess yourself in your daily life by paying attention to your habits and behaviors. There are times when we overdo it, whether it comes to work, drinking, exercising, or other activities. It’s important to recognize these patterns in your shadow self so you can explore the reasons behind them.

4. Flip the Script

As you monitor yourself and become more aware of your triggers, you should be able to recognize times when you should “flip the script.” This means doing something differently or oppositely from how you usually would to achieve a better outcome.

5. Find the Value

Finally, find a way to identify the value in every situation you go through in life. If you’re struggling to deal with your daily emotions, we recommend Nuu3 Keep Calm Gummies to relax your body and mind and make it easier to explore your shadow self.

Practice these shadow work exercises regularly to explore your hidden emotions, and you’ll find that the process gets easier with time.

The Process of Shadow Work Therapy

Shadow work therapy is not a miracle technique that will eliminate your negative emotions in one session. Expect to put in time and effort, and understand that when you practice this technique, you’ll be digging into your darker side [3]. This means facing the reality of emotions you’ve been repressing.

Expect some emotional trauma as you work through your issues, but once you learn how to accept and understand these feelings you should experience the true benefits of shadow work.


Shadow work may sound like a strange practice, but once you learn more about this psychotherapy technique, you’ll understand its powerful potential mental health benefits. However, it’s important to follow the right protocol and carry out shadow work carefully, ideally with the help of a good therapist, to ensure that you benefit fully from the technique.