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Leave Your Baggage Behind: A Way to Stop Carrying Emotional Baggage With You

One of the most damaging things you can do to yourself is carried around baggage from past negative experiences. Even if the experience was with a family member, friend or significant other it can really hold you back from being happy. You stop seeing the world as it is and start seeing it as you want it to be. There are many ways to work through this, but today I’m going to share one of the most effective tools that I have learned over the years to help myself and my clients let go of their baggage. Consider this your invitation to leave your suitcase behind.




What does it mean to have emotional baggage?


The term Emotional baggage is a metaphor that refers to the negative, unprocessed emotions from past experiences. All types of emotional baggage, if not taken care of, can negatively impact your current experiences — your relationships, your friendships, your family relations


There are 4 types of emotional baggage that are holding you back from being your best self, and here's how to get rid of all of them.


1. Guilt

You may feel uncomfortable about your past relationship and carry that fear into new relationships. Or, you may feel guilty for arguing with a family member who passed away and now you cope with a complex confrontation.


When a partner in a past relationship cheated, you may have developed a complex surrounding the issue of cheating. Or maybe you felt guilty about arguing with a family member before their passing, and now you have a complex about confrontation. If you feel the need to apologize to or seek forgiveness from anyone involved in your guilt, you may do so—but first, ask yourself if your apology will actually help them or if it's only for your own benefit.


2. Regret

Sometimes you wish you had done things differently in the past, and that regret carries over into the present. This might make you worry about whether you are doing the right thing now.


If you let it burden you, regret will weigh you down. It's only natural to look back with certain regrets, but thinking too much about the past will hold you back from getting what you want in the future. You want to focus on what you can do in the present and move forward with what you have. You don't want to be stuck in the past, focusing on all of your mistakes.


3. Fear

Fear is an unpleasant emotion that you have when you are frightened, worried about something that is dangerous, painful or bad. You might have a fear of driving because you got in a car accident in the past. You might have a fear of swimming in the ocean because you got stung by a jellyfish.


Getting rid of fear often means doing the thing you fear. If you have a fear of swimming in the ocean, what you need may be to experience swimming in the ocean. "Exposure is hands down the most successful way to deal with phobias, anxiety disorders and everyday fears of any sort," Stanford neuroscientist Philippe Goldin told Lifehacker.


You can change your behavior by surrounding yourself with supportive people who are likely to support you, which will make you feel more comfortable confronting your fears.


4. Inner-Criticism

Your inner critic may judge you for your appearance, your weight, your work, etc. You're a human being, and humans have a tendency to get emotional about things. For example, some people judge others based on their appearance or on what they do for a living.


You have to take care of yourself so you can learn to accept your inner critic and let it push you forward. This can be achieved by practicing meditation, for example, where you train yourself to sign up to thoughts and emotions without attaching to them. You learn that your thoughts and emotions are temporary energy passing through you. You acknowledge them, but don't let these thoughts or emotions consume or dictate your moods or behaviors.



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