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So many of you must have experienced stressful and traumatic events during the course of your life. Often, these events are traumatic enough for them to not leave your chain of thoughts for many years to come. This is called emotional baggage, meaning that you are dealing with residual emotional issues and harbouring pain, sadness, regret and anger.
This baggage, if left unresolved, can have an adverse impact on your physical and mental wellbeing, and become a roadblock in moving forward with life.
Emotional baggage can cause stress, depression, and anger outbursts. In some advanced cases, it may also lead to suicidal thoughts. Emotional baggage weighs us down and lets past experiences undermine the prospects of a better future.
Emotional baggage is nothing but insecurities mixed with inhibitions due to events that took place in one’s life. Triggers range from an abusive or neglected childhood, stressful personal relationships with friends, family or romantic partners. These factors cause a trust deficit, both with respect to others and ourselves.
These signs will help you evaluate and understand whether emotional baggage is bogging you down and not letting you attain peace of mind:
Many children grow up in unconventional and abusive family environments, facing emotional angst and trauma. Also, romantic relationships that go haywire and end on a bad note, are also a cause of building emotional baggage. These life events can leave one with stress, anxiety, self-doubt, and trust issues. A few classic signs would be growing dependency, insecurity, commitment issues, and emotional unavailability.
Fear or paranoia is part of our ‘fight or flight’ response, meaning that we get afraid when we come across an unknown situation. Although this emotion is part of our survival instinct, in some cases it can perpetuate for years after experiencing a traumatic event. People with emotional baggage keep reliving their worst moments, making them afraid of embracing their lives. This fear is also based in anger, as when we feel dejected in life, we often channelise that emotion through anger and resentment. Unaddressed fear and anger will compel you to avoid situations that you perceive will be harmful, and be unnecessarily spiteful. This can include avoiding meeting new people or even refraining from going to a new restaurant for dinner.
Guilty and regret are indicators of emotional baggage, as they lead to rumination and introspection. This often causes self-deprecating thoughts that are negative and harmful for one’s confidence and emotional wellbeing. Guilt and regret can also manifest in the form of over-dependence on family members or a romantic partner, hampering the creation of healthy boundaries. This may also lead to overcompensation in the form of things one does out of guilt and regret.
So, ladies, be mindful of these signs and take charge of your mental wellbeing!