Struggling With Emotional Baggage? Here’s How To Deal With Emotional Baggage!

Last Update on April 27, 2022 : Published on April 28, 2022

Living with emotional baggage can hold you back on living a healthy and happy life. Emotional baggage can ruin  a lot more than just a relationship of yours. Emotion baggage has the capability to ruin your entire life.

That’s why it’s all the more important for all of us to know how to deal with emotional baggage. Emotional baggage is the emotional burden that you carry with you long after the painful incident/relationship/abuse took place.

This emotional burden doesn’t let you rise, it only pulls you down into the dark world where there is no place for trust, happiness or believing yourself and your partner. Carrying emotional baggage with you is like being stuck in that painful past of yours.

To help you understand emotional baggage and learn how to deal with emotional baggage especially in a relationship, here’s all the information you’ll need;

What Is Emotional Baggage?

Emotional baggage can be defined as the psychological burden which is filled with a lot of negative feelings and emotions (unresolved emotional turmoil) caused by a traumatic event, childhood abuse or some painful experience in the past.

Each experience of ours has both good and bad things for us to carry with us. Those who carry the positive emotional baggage (i.e. the lessons learnt) from the past experience do not  fail in leading a happy life. But those who carry negative emotional baggage face a lot of challenges in life, especially when in a relationship.

Let’s understand emotion baggage better by understanding the signs and causes of emotional baggage…

What Causes Emotional Baggage?

Emotional Baggage is one of those things that hits differently to different people. There are things that cause them to happen but you cannot really point towards one thing and say for sure that this is the reason behind emotional baggage.

The cause of emotional baggage differs from person to person. It depends on what kind of life you have led, what choices you’ve made and how resilient you are. Emotional baggage can be caused by any life altering traumatic experience in one’s life. When the feelings, fears and emotions from such past experience are carried to the future, it becomes emotional baggage.

So basically, emotional baggage is caused by the combination of two things – the occurrence of a traumatic experience and carrying those emotional inhibitions and fear with you long after the actual incident took place.

Also read: The New Trend of Emotional Decluttering & Why You Need To Practice It

Signs Your Emotional Baggage Is Ruining Your Relationships

There are various signs that show that you have been carrying the weight of your emotional baggage from one relationship to another. In fact emotional burden is one of the leading causes of having issues in marriages and relationships.

Let’s look at some signs of emotional baggage;

  • You are emotionally distant from your partner, friends and family
  • You face commitment issues
  • You only believe in casual relationships (you’ve become a serial dater)
  • You are paranoid about relationships (all relationships will end in pain)
  • You project your insecurity onto your partner
  • You compare your relationship
  • You have trust issues
  • You believe no one really understands you
  • You fear being broken/hurt/left in pain again

Also read: Overwhelmed With Emotions? You May Be Experiencing ‘Emotional Flooding’

How To Deal With And Let Go Of Emotional Baggage?

You will have to make some changes in your thought process to let go of emotional baggage. Emotional baggage is all about unresolved emotional stress and in order to overcome them you need to master your emotions and process them properly.

Let’s look at some effective ways to overcome and let go of emotional baggage;

1. Be aware of your feelings and acknowledge them

One of the most common mistakes we make is suppressing painful memories. Out of sight out of mind doesn’t work here. You need to acknowledge your feelings and emotions so that processing them becomes easy.

2. Process your traumatic memories

Emotional baggage is in a way a result of a traumatic past. When we fail to process those painful feelings and emotions properly, it starts to reflect in our current life. Once you have acknowledged your feelings, try to process them properly. Understand what, how & why you are feeling certain things? Where are they coming from? What can you do about them? Etc.

3. Make a list of negative emotions

To know what’s weighing you down will help you a lot in overcoming that emotional burden. It is a kind of hack, all you have to do is make a list of emotions that are disturbing and do not let you move on. Once you have the complete list ready you can use this list to keep a check on your feelings, what triggering them, etc. it’s help you manage emotional baggage.

4. Talk more than assume

When you carry a huge burden of emotional baggage it’s natural for you to assume stuff quite a lot more than you confront others. So, you basically make those assumptions on the basis of your past experiences. To not let emotional burden weigh you down, try confrontation rather than plain assumption.

5. Focus on dealing with your emotions before you get into a new relationship

One of the best ways to have emotional baggage in the first place is to completely get over negative feelings and emotions so that you know that you’ve actually moved on. So, face your feelings, understand them, and process them to get over them before getting into something new.

6. Consider getting help

If your emotional baggage is getting out of control the best option is to get professional help. There is nothing wrong with seeking help, in fact, it will help you heal a lot faster than you can do it on your own.

Also read: Are You Experiencing Uncomfortable Emotions? Try These Healthy Coping Mechanisms

That’s All Folks!

I hope you found this blog helpful and interesting. Emotional baggage is not a good burden to carry. Make sure you learn to overcome emotional baggage so that the past doesn’t haunt your future.

Thanks for reading.

Take care and stay safe.

About The Author

Kirti Bhati
Kirti Bhati

I am an English literature (major) and psychology (minor) graduate from St. Bede’s College, Shimla. Postgraduate in Clinical psychology from IIS University, Jaipur. She has published a Research paper on Music therapy in the military population and Workplace stress in a national seminar conducted by Fortis hospital (gurugram) and international seminar conducted by St. Bede’s College, Shimla, Respectively. Authored a dissertation work on ‘effect of social media addiction on the mental and physical well-being in adolescents’ Currently working at calm sage as a writer.

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