UNPACK YOUR EMOTIONAL BAGGAGE BAG: A JOURNEY TO MENTAL CLARITY.

EMOTIONAL BAGGAGE BAG

TABLE OF CONTENTS

    FREEDOM AND LIBERATION

    INTRODUCTION: THE EMOTIONAL BAGGAGE BAG

    I have worked as a Counsellor in Private Practice and the voluntary sector for many years.  This role has allowed me to be privileged to get to know so many amazing people. My experience over the years has helped me Identify how important it is to travel light and not carry old, unresolved trauma. It has also given me the insight to identify a common thread that runs through most people’s lives.  The common thread I am talking about is how efficiently they deal with present and past trauma. My question to you is, ‘Are you carrying emotional baggage?  ‘Are you exhausted and tired carrying all this stuff in your head?”

    If yes, please continue reading this article to the end.

    THE EMOTIONAL BAGGAGE BAG: WHAT DO WE MEAN BY “THE EMOTIONAL BAGGAGE BAG?”

    The “emotional baggage bag” metaphorically represents the emotional burdens, unresolved issues, negative experiences, and psychological weight people carry throughout their lives. It symbolises the emotional and psychological baggage we accumulate from past traumas, unresolved conflicts, regrets, guilt, shame, and negative emotions. 

    Unfortunately, carrying this emotional baggage bag gets heavier as the years go on. 

    My Book “Travel Light: A Handbook for Mental Health,” delves deeply into the enduring impact of carrying unresolved emotional baggage throughout one’s life. It comprehensively outlines the far-reaching consequences when individuals bear the weight of their unresolved issues, shedding light on how this baggage can shape their mental and emotional well-being.

     The following are a few examples of the consequences of what can happen to a person when they hold on to emotional baggage:-

    EXPERIENCE LOW SELF-ESTEEM SYMPTOMS.

    Holding on to guilt and shame can erode self-esteem and self-worth. When someone constantly feels guilty or ashamed, they may develop a negative self-image, believing they are inherently flawed or unworthy of love and acceptance.

    LIVING WITH DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY.

    Persistent guilt, shame and regrets can contribute to the development of anxiety and depression. These emotions often lead to rumination, where individuals repeatedly dwell on past mistakes or perceived flaws, causing heightened stress and sadness. It is important to note that emotional avoidance is a common coping mechanism, and many people engage in it to some extent.

    EMOTIONAL AVOIDANCE.

    The consequences of Emotional avoidance alone can affect us in so many ways, such as:

    1. Increased Stress: Avoiding emotions can lead to heightened stress levels. Unaddressed emotions often linger beneath the surface, causing ongoing tension and anxiety.
    2. Escalation of Emotions: When emotions are continually avoided, they can intensify over time. What may have started as a minor concern can develop into overwhelming feelings, making it even harder to address.
    3. Impaired Decision-Making: Emotional avoidance can impair one’s ability to make rational and informed decisions. Emotions carry valuable information, and ignoring them may lead to poor choices.
    4. Difficulty in Relationships: Emotionally avoiding individuals may struggle to connect with others on a deeper level. Their inability to express or understand emotions can hinder effective communication and empathy, leading to strained relationships.
    5. Physical Health Effects: Chronic emotional avoidance can have physical health consequences, such as increased risk of stress-related illnesses, headaches, and sleep disturbances.
    6. Mental Health Issues: Emotional avoidance is often associated with an increased risk of mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, and emotional disorders. Suppressing emotions can contribute to emotional instability and mood disorders.
    7. Escalation of Unresolved Issues: Unaddressed emotions can result in unresolved conflicts or issues, which may resurface with even greater intensity.
    8. Inhibition of Personal Growth: Emotional avoidance can hinder personal growth and self-awareness. It may prevent individuals from learning valuable lessons from their emotions and experiences.
    9. Increased Emotional Reactivity: Suppressing emotions can make individuals more reactive when emotions finally surface. This can lead to emotional outbursts or inappropriate responses to triggers.
    10. Lowered Resilience: Emotional avoidance can reduce a person’s emotional resilience, making it harder to cope with life’s challenges and setbacks. They tend to become people pleasers as it is easier to go along with things.

    WHAT CAUSES PEOPLE PLEASING?

    When individuals grapple with low self-esteem due to their old emotional baggage bag, they often find themselves entangled in the People-Pleasing Dilemma.

    People pleasers end up in inauthentic relationships.  For example, people-pleasers may attract relationships based on their caregiver or helper role rather than genuine connection.  This can lead to a need for more fulfilling and authentic relationships.

    FREEDOM AND LIBERATION.

    The good news is that you don’t have to stay captive of your past traumas.  You can start by looking deep into your old emotional baggage bag.  Ideally, a professional counsellor would be a great help.  If not, confide in a close friend.

    If confiding in a close friend doesn’t feel right for you, another excellent starting point for beginning your journey to recovery is to consider picking up my book, “Travel Light: A Handbook for Mental Health.” It offers valuable insights, strategies, and guidance to help you navigate the path towards healing and emotional well-being.

    Letting go of the emotional baggage bag symbolises releasing these burdens, forgiving oneself and others, and finding emotional liberation. It represents the idea that by unburdening oneself from the past, individuals can move forward with a lighter and clearer heart.

     

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