How to get rid of emotional baggage? Is it really possible with practicing mindfulness, acceptance, self-compassion, or self-expression? Find what doctors want to tell about emotional baggage now!

What Is Emotional Baggage?

Any type of processed feelings, emotions, experiences that are generally negative in nature are metaphorically referred to as emotional baggage. Such suppressed feelings if left unattended will impact daily life, decision-making, relationships, and health adversely.

Examples of Emotional Baggage

Guilt, regret, fear, self-criticism, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are the common types of emotional baggage. This negative self-image can manifest in several ways to inhibit an individual. The common signs or examples of people carrying emotional baggage are:

  • Lack of Trust

People with emotional baggage often feel it difficult to create a bond or trust others in a relationship. They often search for red signals and reassurance from the opposite every single time, creating further complications. Dependency, insecurity, being emotionally unavailable, and fear of commitment are common in their relationships.

  • Anger and Paranoia

The constant self-doubt and emotional angst can develop into anger and paranoia with time. The basic human instinct of fight or flight could manifest severely to the extent of avoiding meeting new people or visiting new places in people with emotional baggage. This will develop slowly and get expressed as anger or paranoia years after a traumatic event.

  • Feeling Down

Everybody feels guilt and regret at times due to the way they behaved or handled things earlier but individuals carrying emotional baggage can put themselves down a lot of times for simple mistakes. They feel incapable of forgiving themselves most of the time.

How to Release Emotional Baggage?

Now that we are familiar with the common signs of emotional baggage let’s see how to let go of hurt to let go of emotional baggage.

  • First, find out whether you can resolve the issue. If there is no chance, then it is important for you to understand that things have gone out of your control. 
  • Identify the real issue. Sometimes, the lighter and unaddressed issues could be the actual culprit than a serious and bigger problem.
  • Think whether you are solely responsible for it or whether someone could also have a hand in it. If you are the only person liable, try to make things right by accepting responsibility and learning to forgive yourself. If there is someone else in the mix, communicate with them and accept joint responsibility. Find ways to forgive each other and yourselves.
  • It is crucial to understand that pain, neglect, grief, anger, and sadness are feelings that make you human. Going through these emotions is part and parcel of life. The way you may have reacted may not be right from another person’s perception but that doesn’t necessarily mean you are wrong.
  • Let it go is easier said than done. It is very difficult to let go and move with certain life experiences but trying to move on will never hurt you more than staying.

How to Get Rid of Emotional Baggage?

Emotional baggage is called baggage for a reason. It cannot be let go of immediately by practicing mindfulness, meditation, and self-acceptance. Doctors can help you with therapy, medication, and other forms of internal and external treatment. 

But, it is necessary to acknowledge that emotional baggage is something that needs a lot of time and patience from the individual and from people surrounding that person to be treated effectively. The majority of the world’s population suffers from this at varying levels. While there is no definite cure, you can heal the pain and reduce the symptoms to establish a functional social life with continuous efforts.