We often refer to our thoughts as our “masters”. This is just one way to look at things, but there is a significant dose of truth in that idea. What we mostly think about is what owns us- if we constantly concentrate on the negative sides of our lives, how would we be able to find the strength to become stronger versions of ourselves? How could we sense the opportunities that are on our path and seize them? How could we appreciate our blessings? If our minds are clogged by negativity, we won’t be able to do any of those things. But if we make the effort to choose the positive thoughts over the negative ones, we would be a step closer to unleashing our full potential.
This is only one of the reasons why letting go of our emotional baggage is worth it.
Before we move on to the ideas on how to get rid of the emotional heaviness, here are some of the ways it can mess with you.
1. You become over-protective
Always bearing in mind past negative experiences, you become so protective over your emotions that you deprive yourself of sharing them with other people. This behavior may lead to emotional “numbness”, and you forgetting when you lastly felt anything at all.
When communicating, you tend to treat people badly if they remind you of a person who had hurt you in the past.
3. You become indecisive
Whenever you are facing a choice you have to make, it takes significant effort and time for you to decide what to choose.
4. Constant comparison
You spend too much time thinking how much better your life had been before, or how much worse it is than someone else’s. And the more you do this, the bigger your emotional hole gets.
5. You’re losing your trust
Especially in yourself.
How to get rid of the emotional baggage
Ditching the emotional heaviness may take some of your time because it is not a one time thing but a really long process. You have to be willing to work on changing your mindset, the way you look at things. If you are persistent enough and believe in yourself, you will witness how the world around you changes slowly, but surely.
You can hardly predict when the emotional heaviness will take over your mind. But what you can do in order to decrease the pressure when that happens is to simply take a time out. Don’t judge yourself for feeling that way. Try becoming aware of the origins of these emotions: what made you feel like that? Is it of that big of a significance? How can you not let that happen again? How can you resolve the issue that has been bugging you? Ask yourself these questions, but don’t pressure yourself with unnecessary judging the way you feel. Own it!
2. Don’t suppress the emotions
Depriving yourself from letting your feelings out can only make matters worse in the long run. By doing that you risk accumulating so many emotions and holding them within you that one day they can start brewing all at once and things won’t be pretty. Don’t act like you can just stop feeling anything. Let it out and let it go.
3. Creating rituals
What could really help if you are trying to let go of the emotional heaviness is writing your feelings down on a sheet of paper and burning it or just throwing it away. Just like you want to throw the excess baggage away. Another helpful ritual is a breathing exercise- breathing in only positive things and breathing out all the negative ones. You can come up with your own personal ritual. Choose whatever helps you best.
When recalling past experiences, think about what you can draw from them. There is a lesson behind almost every bad experience, you just have to look more carefully to find it and understand it. That is a way using your past can improve your life.
5. Be patient
Don’t pressure yourself. Change takes time. One of the things that matter the most is your effort. If you feel like it’s too hard to be done, just keep going. Don’t quit. You will see that hard work, persistence and strong will pay off. And remember that thoughts are just… thoughts. They come and they go, don’t hold on too tight to them because you’ll miss the present moment. Which “the now“ is everything we have.
Related: Emotional Balance: Why it is So Important in Our Lives