Gauri Khurana, MD, a psychiatrist, says that shadow work is about exploring your unconscious parts.
The unconscious acts are compensatory to the conscious, which means you consciously discover whatever you identify and live within the unconscious.
Your shadow is primarily composed of negative traits because positive traits are often repressed.
Carl Jung developed the concept of shadow work to make sense of how shadows express themselves by pointing out flaws in others.
His theory of the shadow is that everyone has their “dark side” throughout their lives, so examining it could help them understand their anger towards others.
Dr. Khurana explains. “We first meet our shadow when it is projected onto other people, as we cannot identify that these contents are actually within us.”
Are you curious about how this practice works? Here’s how to start shadowing and reap the rewards.
Shadow Work: What Is It?
According to Dr. Khurana, shadow work aims to integrate your hidden parts so that they can come to light and manifest.
Shadow work can also help you grasp why certain aspects of others’ personalities upset you.
She explains, “Shadow work provides insights on the origins of your personality and how you developed these strong feelings.”
What Are The Benefits Of Shadowing?
According to Dr. Khurana, shadow work has not been examined in any research studies, making it difficult to prove its efficacy.
Shadow work helps one gain self-trust by understanding why they can engage in certain behaviors and others cannot.
Shadow work is similarly helpful in building more constructive habits, as shadows can feed destructive behaviors, such as addictions and excessive drinking, to handle stress.
How Do You Practice Shadowing?
Dr. Khurana says all you need to practice shadow work is an open mind and a desire to get along with others.
She says, “The beauty of shadow work is that it can be done alone and with others, including your therapist.”
Learning about these components of your shadow is also important in not blaming yourself for your strong negative feelings towards others.