Will the ‘shadow work’ TikTok trend dominate 2024?

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If we’re being honest, TikTok isn’t at all times a wealth of reliable health and wellness advice. There have been some current doozies, together with the WaterTok craze of the summer season of 2023 (questionable) and the NyQuil hen head-scratcher of 2022 (exhausting no). However, may the damaged clock of TikTok have been proper at the least as soon as in 2023?

Perhaps. In 2023, “shadow work” racked up more than 2.4 billion views on TikTok, with customers swearing that the development improved their mental health and served as a type of self-care. What is shadow work? In quick, shadow work is a sort of remedy that may be achieved with knowledge or by yourself that leans into the concept that you might have “hidden” components of yourself. Many TikTokers used the journal “The Shadow Work Journal: A Guide to Integrate and Transcend your Shadows” by Keila Shaheen. However, you solely need a willingness to discover the darkest components of yourself to strive for shadow work. Should you? Below, we’ll dig into suggestions for shadow work for rookies and whether or not the development has a darkish aspect.

What is shadow work?
Shadow work hinges on the concept that we’ve got different components of ourselves, a few of which we disguise from view (and even try to ignore). People working towards shadow work will refer to those components because of the“shadow self” When participating in shadow work, the aim is to figure out triggers and why certain conditions and behaviours drudge up adverse emotions like anger, resentment, and disgrace.

Though TikTok could have caught onto shadow work in 2023, the mental health modality is nothing new. Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung popularized the thought of a“shadow sel” within the Western Hemisphere in the twentieth century. Shadow work is identical to “components work” a mental health mechanism utilized in Internal Family Systems (IFS) remedy.

What are the advantages and dangers of shadow work?
The final aim of shadow work is to enhance a person’s mental health. Over the final, number of years, there’s been a mandatory push to cut back the stigma around mental health. Caring for your mental and emotional well-being is as vital as retaining bodily health. How may shadow work be a type of mental health care? While outcomes differ, the mechanism has several potential advantages, together with:

  • Increased self-awareness
  • Better emotional intelligence and understanding of triggers
  • Improved relationships
  • Feeling extra entire
  • Recognizing emotional, thought, and behavioural patterns that sabotage relationships and goals
  • Healing from previous trauma
  • New, more healthy coping abilities
  • Personal improvement

Essentially, shadow work helps you understand what holds you back or causes you to lash out. These ideas and actions can forestall you from forming healthy relationships or reaching objectives. By figuring out these patterns — and, importantly, what fashioned them, akin to previous trauma — you’ll be able to heal, develop more healthy coping abilities, and develop deeper personally and in relationships.


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As mentioned, shadow work isn’t for everybody. People experiencing psychosis or points in need of fast medical consideration, akin to drug dependency, ought to seek the advice of a healthcare supplier earlier than continuing.

How can I begin shadow work? Shadow work for rookies
Another perk of shadow work: The mental health mechanism is one thing an individual can do themselves or with a therapist. Plus, a person doesn’t need something physical — simply curiosity and open thoughts. The accessibility makes shadow work one thing that almost anybody can check out. These suggestions for rookies will make it easier to get began in your journey.

Shadow work by yourself
Are you trying shadow work alone but confused about the place to begin? Here’s what to know.

  1. Identify triggers. What will get an increase out of you? Did a“let’s talk” Slack from a boss ship you spiralling, solely so that you can discover out they simply needed to ask how your vacation went? That considerably cryptic message set you off for some cause.
  2. Make observe. Now, observe the set-off. A journal is perhaps useful right here, however even a mental observation works (in case you have an excellent memory). The notes app on your telephone, a Google Doc, or old-school lined paper are appropriate substitutes for an official journal.
  3.  Look for patterns. Give shadow work a while. However, you may have the ability to make notes of patterns after some time. For occasion, maybe you discover that you simply robotically agree to hang around after work with colleagues solely to angst in regards to the not-so-happy hour all evening.
  4. Ask why. Why do you react how you do? Perhaps you have been continuously admonished for saying“n” as a baby, so you’ve developed people-pleasing behaviours.
  5. Make a plan. Lifedoesn’t simply occur to you. List methods to manage or deal with conditions. For occasion, maybe you solely say“yes” to each different invite or restrict yourself to a sure variety of monthly joyful hours. You could also be stunned to see that people will respect your boundaries.

Shadow work with a therapist
You can discover listings on websites like Psychology Today if you wish to strive to shadow work with a therapist. Look for buzzwords like“shadow work” and“components work” You can even ask a therapist how long they’ve achieved shadow work or if they’re comfortable utilizing the mechanism with you.

Shadow work is a TikTok development price attempt — if you’re (and never experiencing extreme mental health issues, akin to psychosis, or medical points, like dependency). The mental health software facilities around the concept that all of us have“hidden half” or“darkish sides” known as a“shadow self” that we repress. Shadowwork helps people establish triggers and discover the explanations behind them. From there, people can develop higher coping abilities that enhance their relationships with themselves and others. Always converse with a healthcare supplier if you’re not sure if a mental or physical health intervention is right for you.