emotional baggage

Emotional Baggage: The Good, The Bad, The Promising

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Emotional baggage can refer to negative, unprocessed, and unresolved emotional turmoil from past experiences. It affects how you think, the choices you make, and the actions you take.

While it’s normal to have emotional baggage, it becomes toxic when left unaddressed. It can interfere with your professional goals, personal contentment, healthy relationships, and enjoyment of life.

Emotional Baggage: The Good and The Bad

There are both pros and cons to carrying emotional baggage. On the one hand, emotional baggage can provide valuable life lessons and insights, helping individuals learn and grow from past experiences. It can also serve as a reminder to be more compassionate and empathetic towards others who may be going through similar struggles.

On the bad side, emotional baggage can be detrimental to one’s mental and emotional health, causing stress, anxiety, and depression. It can affect personal relationships, making it difficult to form deep and meaningful connections with others.

Signs of Emotional Baggage

Emotional baggage is unique to each person and can manifest in different ways. Here are common signs to watch out for:

  1. Unexpressed feelings of hurt towards loved ones; partners, spouse, friends, or colleagues.
  2. Anger and hate towards others – cannot let go of the hurtful things done to us.
  3. Unresolved anger about situations where we didn’t speak up or felt powerless, such as a personal or professional relationship.
  4. Regret for not taking an opportunity, making a mistake, or for losing a relationship.
  5. The grief of losing someone close, whether it is a parent, partner, lover, friend, or even a pet.
  6. Negative self-blame – “How did I end up like this?” “It’s not my fault,” “My life isn’t fair.”
  7. Hidden baggage, the type you may not even be aware of, is equally dangerous because it can sneak up on you – notice the patterns.

Is Emotional Baggage Toxic?

Yes, emotional baggage can be toxic. It affects your mental and physical health, your relationships, and your overall quality of life. Carrying emotional baggage can cause stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. It can also lead to physical health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and chronic pain.

Furthermore, it creates a negative cycle in your relationships, where you can project past hurt onto others, leading to more hurt and emotional baggage.

How to Let Go of Emotional Baggage

  1. Practice Self-Awareness

Become aware of your emotions and recognize how they are affecting your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Notice patterns and triggers that contribute to your emotional baggage. Being self-aware is an essential first step in addressing emotional baggage.

  1. Seek Support

Talk to a trusted friend, family member, or therapist about your emotional baggage. It can be helpful to have someone who can listen and offer objective advice. They can also help you see things from a different perspective and provide you with tools and strategies to address your emotional baggage.

  1. Practice Forgiveness

Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting or excusing the hurtful behavior of others. It means letting go of the anger and resentment that are weighing you down. Forgive yourself and others to free yourself from emotional baggage. Forgiveness can come in the form of understanding, where you try to see the situation from the other person’s perspective.

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  1. Practice Self-Care

Take care of yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally. Get enough sleep, exercise regularly, and eat a healthy diet. Engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation. Self-care is essential when you’re managing emotional baggage.

  1. Let go of Perfectionism

Perfectionism can contribute to emotional baggage. Accept that you are not perfect and that mistakes and failures are part of life. Focus on progress, not perfection. Embrace imperfections and learn from them.

  1. Live in the Present Moment

Let go of past hurts and regrets and focus on the present moment. Practice mindfulness and stay present at the moment. This can help you let go of emotional baggage and find peace in the present.

  1. Seek Closure

If there are unresolved issues that are contributing to your emotional baggage, seek closure. Seeking closure can be an important step in releasing emotional baggage. This can involve having a difficult conversation with someone, writing a letter that we never send, or taking other steps to resolve the issue and move on.

In conclusion

Emotional baggage can have a significant impact on our mental and physical health, our relationships, and our overall quality of life. While it is normal to have emotional baggage, it becomes toxic when left unaddressed.

Ultimately, the decision to keep or let go of emotional baggage is a personal one that requires a balance of self-reflection, mindfulness, and professional support if needed. It may not be easy, but it is worth it. Letting go of emotional baggage can be incredibly liberating and empowering, and can help us to find peace and contentment in our lives.

If you are planning to take on this journey of unloading your emotional baggage here’s another post that might help HOW TO WIN THE WAR AGAINST YOUR MIND: THOUGHTS CREATE YOUR REALITY


  • Reply Bryan March 11, 2023 at 9:33 am

    Yes, emotional baggage is a real problem. I know someone with this issue and it eats away at her. Yet, she will do nothing to resolve the problem.

    • Reply Lani March 12, 2023 at 11:58 pm

      Hi Bryan,

      I understand, It’s really difficult to face all the pain, hate, resentment, and anger. I hope you can forward this post to your friend.

  • Reply lovingthespectrum March 11, 2023 at 11:02 am

    Honest and open conversations, acceptance, forgiveness, not an easy thing to do but to move on and become who we crave, we have to do the hard work <3 Love this post.

    • Reply Lani March 12, 2023 at 11:57 pm


      Thanks for the comment. I’m glad you enjoyed this post.

  • Reply Fransic verso March 11, 2023 at 12:31 pm

    These are important and helpful. Seeking support is good and helps a lot. Practicing self-awareness is also good. Thank you for sharing these tips!

    • Reply Lani March 12, 2023 at 11:56 pm

      Hi Fransic,

      Thanks for your comments. I’m glad you enjoyed this post.

  • Reply Fransic verso March 12, 2023 at 12:07 pm

    It is not good when it hurt mental health or relationship. This brings insight and light into the emotional baggage. Thank you for sharing!

    • Reply Lani March 12, 2023 at 11:55 pm

      Hi Fransic,

      I totally agree with you. We should never carry pain, hate, anger, and resentment moving forward.

  • Reply nia March 12, 2023 at 6:27 pm

    Support was really helpful for me in noticing my emotional baggage. Being able to talk about it with a therapist and friend was really key. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply Lani March 12, 2023 at 11:54 pm

      Hi Nia,

      Thanks for your giving me a glimpse of your journey. I also noticed my baggage when I found it difficult to move forward. I now see how important it is to get things in perspective.

  • Reply Carol March 13, 2023 at 11:25 am

    I think we all have emotional baggage- unless we’ve worked long and hard on issues. We all have a past and none of us can escape hurt and grief- but of course some of us do better at coping than others. I think you have some great tips here. Maybe you can dive deeper into each one in separate posts. It’s certainly not an easy journey.

    • Reply Lani March 14, 2023 at 5:07 am

      Hi Carol,

      I’m glad you enjoyed this post. I will take your advice soon and dive deeper.

  • Reply Anna March 13, 2023 at 2:16 pm

    This is great advice! Holding on to these things can be so heavy, and we don’t even notice the weight of all these things we have been holding onto until we put them down

    • Reply Lani March 14, 2023 at 5:06 am

      Hi Anna,

      Thank you so much for your comment. I’m happy to hear you got some pointers and tips from this post.

  • Reply Nalayini March 13, 2023 at 2:30 pm

    wow, resonated with this a lot. Xx

    • Reply Lani March 14, 2023 at 5:05 am

      Hi Nalayini,

      I’m glad this post resonated well with you. I hope you picked up on a few tips.

  • Reply Morgan March 13, 2023 at 2:36 pm

    As a therapist, yes yes yes to all of this!

    • Reply Lani March 14, 2023 at 5:04 am

      Hi Morgan,

      Thank you so much for your comment. It’s nice to hear that this post is veted by a therapist.

  • Reply Cosmina Manea March 13, 2023 at 5:32 pm

    Mindfullness and living in the present was the best solution for me. Although, I needed to cover almost all points before getting rid of my emotional baggage

    • Reply Lani March 14, 2023 at 5:03 am

      Hi Cosmina,

      I’m glad this post resonated well with you, I hope the tips listed in this post helped.

  • Reply Ian March 13, 2023 at 6:09 pm

    Really well written and it’s great to see mental health being talked about more and more.

    • Reply Lani March 14, 2023 at 5:02 am

      Hi Ian,

      Thank you so much for the comment. I’m glad you enjoyed this post. I hope you got some tips along the way.

  • Reply Erika R March 14, 2023 at 1:21 pm

    This was very well written. Thank you for taking the time to speak up on emotional baggage. I feel like this is definitely something that should be talked about more often and you’ve certainly paved the way.

  • Reply Tyler james March 18, 2023 at 1:40 am

    These are important and helpful. Seeking support is good and helps a lot. Practicing self-awareness is also good. Thank you for sharing these tips!

    • Reply Lani March 21, 2023 at 5:28 am

      Hi Tyler,

      I’m glad you enjoyed this post and got some tips to try out too.

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