Baggage is expensive, and not just at the airport. Emotional baggage can put a strain on every part of your life. Everyone carries some form of emotional baggage, the lessons learned through life’s struggles mold who you become as a person. Living a happier life is not about eliminating all emotional baggage, it is instead about learning how to pack more efficiently.
Identify what baggage you can drop
Some of your emotional baggage contains valuable lessons that you do not want to leave behind. The fear of getting burned you learned as a child when you touched the stove. Before you can drop any of your baggage you need to take an inventory of what baggage you can do without. You can start this by writing down any negative emotions or thoughts that you carry with you. Make sure you put down any that come to mind, by writing everything down in a way similar to a brainstorming session you may even identify some baggage you may not have realized you were carrying. Once you have a full list go through and identify the baggage you want to toss out first and write them each on their own sheet of paper.
Identify the original cause of the baggage
Once you have isolated the baggage you want to get rid of it is time to do some reflecting. Think about the negative emotions you are wanting to get rid of and try to remember the original instance that caused this feeling. Write down as much as you can remember about what happened. Writing down any physical senses you can remember can sometimes help to bring out some of the more vague memories. By identifying the root cause of your baggage you are able to separate the memory from the feelings.
Identify a positive that came from the original situation
After you have written everything that you can about the original cause of your baggage start to use your current perspective to find any positive that may have come from the original pain. If you find you have trust issues because one of your parents had an affair, remind yourself that if not for the divorce, your half sister that you adore would not exist. Looking back on a negative situation with 20/20 hindsight can make it easier to find the silver linings to life’s gray clouds.
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