What’s “emotional baggage”, anyway?
Emotions are awesome and help us feel alive, experience life, relate to others and so much more. The term ’emotion’ itself is derived from the Latin word “emovere,” which means “to move” but, trouble comes when our emotions don’t move and become stuck – the experience of prolonged feelings long after an event. We then feel our emotions intensely, often permanently; and they become a form of stress, wreaking havoc on the immune and nervous systems.
“I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.”
― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
Photo credit: Oprah.com
Why releasing it is ESSENTIAL to our happiness
Dr. Bruce Lipton, PhD, cellular biologist and author of the New York Times Bestseller The Biology of Belief, concluded that 95% of all illness is created by stress.
Stress that creates the most problems does NOT come from the things like rushing to get to work, having too much laundry, and more. It comes from physiological stress. I believe this is caused by holding trauma including past events, limiting beliefs, and general resistance to the flow of life.
In short: Stress isn’t stressing you out, it’s the emotional baggage you don’t even know you’re holding onto.
Remember: stress can’t be blamed on outside influences. It is how WE react to those influences. Why does one person act belligerent in a relationship argument while the other remains calm? There are emotional forces in each of us that determine how we react to outside influence.
When we are stressed, a huge amount of physiological reactions take place. Things like your heart rate and blood pressure increase, your memory can be affected, and of course – stress hormones are released.
The good news is releasing this stress or emotional baggage can be just about the coolest thing ever. Can you even imagine how much lighter you’d feel without all the fears, anger and other crap from the past triggering you all the time?
3 Quick Wins
1. Be honest with yourself
If we’re really honest, it’s not hard to find things that we say “don’t bother us,” but really still do. Start by just admitting “this sucks and it’s still bothering me.” Giving acknowledgment to our emotions is one of my favorite ways to start releasing them. I always joke that emotions just want their 15 seconds of fame like anything else. When you give it to them, they have less of a reason to stick around.
2. Look at what you’re believing
Beliefs can cause just as much challenge for us as our emotions – and many people miss this. Past events aren’t always as important as what we took away from them as far as beliefs. Beliefs like “I’ll fail if I try” or “I don’t deserve to be happy”.
3. Be open to truly letting go
Holding on to past emotional energies of fear, regret, resentment and more can cause us to be in a negative place all the time. That energy is vibrating in our bodies and leading us to feel those emotions at some level on a constant basis. Using various forms of energy therapy to release that negative emotional “charge” from the body can create a huge positive shift.
Now that you know more about emotional baggage, isn’t it time you start unpacking?