Emotional baggage is any negative, unprocessed emotion from past or present experiences, that have resulted to bad experiences. These can lead to unresolved life issues due to neglected relationships, career failures and huge financial loss. Experiences like these make you involve in indulgent behavior that will unmask the underlying issues. For instance if an experience is causing you anger, fear or sadness, it is important you take a break to asses these emotions. Continuous emotional baggage can become a burden, and these may begin to weigh you down, sometimes you start feeling worthless or low self-esteem. In such a case it is important you let go of the comparison you make you make with yourself and others. Other feelings may be, feeling of isolation and inadequacy, however, these are possibly self-created illusion that are holding you down. Consciously work toward recognizing these signs and let thing go so you can live free.
Types of Emotional Baggage
- Failure: Failure does not mean you can never win, whenever we fail in any thing we are doing, sometime we start to feel or think that we are not “good enough” or we are unlucky. Obviously, both are self-limiting narratives that we feed ourselves. Success can never be guaranteed and our failures don’t have to be the ultimate objective about our life, the reality we need is the power to take back, rather than blaming ourselves or our stars. If we learn our lesson from our failures and try again, we can make significant progress in our lives.
- Guilt: Guilt is one hell of a silent killer. For instance, when we have unresolved issues with our loved ones and we feel we are losing out in the fight, in the process, the feeling of guilt begin to eat you up from the inside. Regret sometimes has detrimental effects on our self-image, unresolved guilt can destroy the prospect of living a happy life. Although guilt may indicate that the person acknowledged their mistakes and want to make amend to resolve any pending issues.
- Resentment: Everyone at one point in time have face unfair or unfavorable circumstances for no fault of theirs, it is natural to develop a feeling of resentment or anger. Anger can be directed in your life ranging from your parent, spouse and friend. If we allow resentment to grow and continue to influence our behaviors, we will start to project our unresolved emotion to other that don’t deserve our bad treatments.
- Fear: Fear is an unpleasant emotion that make you frightened or worried about something dangerous, painful or bad things that is happening or that might happen in the future. Maybe because you’ve experienced a scary scene like flooding or going through a pandemic in the past and you start to become afraid that the same thing will happen again. Getting rid of fears often means facing your fears as a lion faces its prey.
- Regret: It is very easy to get stuck in the web of regret, when you keep imagining what life would be like if all you did was right. The truth is that we can’t tell what the future would be and what it holds for us, but it is important that we stop putting ourselves under pressure because what of we didn’t do right in the past. Letting go of regret makes you more cheerful and you get a feeling of freedom.
- Self-criticism: Sometimes when we grow with over-bearing relative or friends that keep dishing out a valley of criticism and derogatory comments with little or no encouragement or positive words, we tend to lose our confidence in our potential, we become the harshest self-critic of ourselves and remain so till we grow up. Our relatives or friends wrongly assume that negative comment would inspire us, but they don’t know the harm it has caused in the way we thinking or our behavior. We must resist this cycle from our life to avoid it effects on our behavior or our next generation.
How to release emotional baggage
Regardless of our past bad experiences, we still have the responsibility to make good choices and live a happy life. Our success depends on our willingness to let go of our emotional baggage.
The following steps will help you release emotional baggage:
- Realize your emotional baggage: It is important to understand the reason for our emotional baggage, it may be as result of fear, guilt, resentment, self-criticism etc. just understand yours. All you need to do is to release your emotion in a healthy way and connect with your inner self, these can help you identify those negative emotion that has been accumulated for too long. One thing you can do is to write down your feelings to help you understand yourself.
- Let go of past traumas: Many times, we carry thing in our minds that have hurt us from our childhood and some includes; abuse, neglect, bullying, dysfunctional home and separation from parents or loved ones. Childhood traumas can show up in many ways like self-blaming, blaming other, feeling depressed and withdrawing from social activities. Know something you may never get what you deserved years back, but you can still be happy and get the love you deserve when you realize that your happiness does not depend on any one but on you.
- Change the way you think: If you are struggling with always regretting when you made a mistake, it is time you change the way you think. Remember we all have made mistake that can make us regret, but don’t dwell too long on your thoughts. If you think there is something you can to ease those thoughts, do it, maybe you want to ask for forgiveness from the one you have offended ask and let the past go and move forward don’t be too hard with your thoughts.
- Live for now: Do not allow your past to hold you back. Living in the present means you are not allowing your past to interfere with your present. Remembering all the negative things that has happened to you or those bad things that has been done to you cannot affect you anymore. You need to focus on what is happening now, associate yourself with the present good choices you have made and be happy.
- Surround yourself with positive minded people: Make sure you surround yourself with positive minded people that can help you with what you are going through. Not everyone need to know about your past besides it is now the past and it is not important anymore. Your trusted friends and family members can help you clear those troubling emotional baggage because they know and understand you better. They can listen to you and ask you question that will help you overcome those bad emotions.
- Take charge of your emotions: Admit you might have contributed to some past situation, but do not judge yourself. If it was as a result of broken relationship, you need to recognize the areas were you have done thing wrongly that led to these painful experience. Doing this help you understand yourself better and you feel more in control to clear those life emotional baggage.
- Forgive yourself and others: it doesn’t mean what has happened is your fault, one way to free yourself from self-harm is to forgive yourself and others, let it go. The good thing is that you still have the chance to make things right. You’ve got to forgive yourself and others to live free and happy. Remember forgiveness is freedom from all obstacles.
We all struggle with emotional baggage, sometimes it difficult to let thing be. You may be struggling with all kinds of emotions that has been mentioned above. To let go of all these emotional baggage you need to deliberately take a new step in life, with time you will be free from those burdens that has kept you down for too long.