5 Tips For Letting Go Of Emotional Baggage

5 tips for letting go of emotional baggage.

One of the most important aspects of starting a new relationship is ensuring we’ve completely healed from the past. 

If we carry unresolved issues or hold onto things from our past that we haven’t learned how to let go of, we leave the door open for emotional baggage to affect our present and even future relationships.

Emotional baggage is any unresolved trauma, emotional issues, or lingering feelings from previous relationships that we might hold onto. Instead of learning and growing from a past relationship and the experiences associated with it, emotional baggage makes it difficult to try and move forward without carrying over those feelings. 

Until we learn how to dive deep into those unresolved issues from a previous relationship or situation, we’ll never truly be able to let go. Here are 5 tips for letting go of emotional baggage so that you can have a healthy relationship with yourself and the person you’re with: 

1. Embrace The Lessons From The Past 

When I was in an extremely toxic relationship, I remember several occasions when my ex repeatedly blamed and accused me of things I never said or did. 

The constant back and forth from the accusations and always trying to defend myself led to immense trust issues, anxiety, stress, and feeling stuck in a repeated pattern of negative thinking. 

I knew that once I was able to get out of that relationship, one of the hardest things ahead of me was learning how to work through the trauma and the emotional baggage. Especially since a lot of those feelings and emotions were suppressed for so long.

We’ll never move on from the past if we don’t allow ourselves the chance to process the weight of what happened. While it’s not something we can quickly get over, especially depending on the extent of what we went through, it’s important to dive deep, embrace the lessons we’ve learned, and determine what we want to change or avoid in the future. 

I couldn’t change what already happened, but I could look at what I learned and the choices that I made throughout the process. It’s always easy to blame somebody else, but I know looking back if I had made different choices or not always had an excuse for the poor behavior, then things would’ve played out differently. Not to say that what happened was ever okay, but I knew I could take those lessons and apply them in future relationships. 

Reflect on what happened and truly ask yourself how you can heal so you’re able to release the emotional baggage. We can never alter the past, but we can learn how to embrace the lessons from the past so we can work through them to make our relationships better in the future. 

2. Release Any Thoughts Holding You Back 

When we keep holding onto the same cycle of repeated thoughts, it becomes difficult to learn how to let go of emotional baggage. Just as I mentioned feeling stuck in a pattern of negative thinking, I felt like I would repeatedly ask myself: What’s wrong with me? Why did that happen? What could I have done differently to change the situation or make it better?

Sometimes we’re quick to blame ourselves for a situation or relationship not working out how we thought it would, but it’s not always as black and white as it might appear. 

A quote that put this into perspective for me was: “People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.” Whether the memories are positive or hurtful, it’s always hard letting go of somebody we thought would be there for a lifetime, but sometimes they’re only there for a reason or a season. 

Once I was able to learn how to release the thoughts that were holding me back, it became easier to let go of the emotional baggage attached to my thinking. I reframed the situation and accepted that it didn’t work out because there was something way better for me. And I’m glad I chose to let go and trust even when it was hard because I couldn’t imagine my life today if I hadn’t followed through with those difficult choices. 

Releasing any thoughts holding you back can help you move on and release the emotional baggage, especially if you’re struggling to let go. It’s hard trying to move when we have trouble accepting that something wasn’t meant to be, but sometimes it’s in those moments that we feel the lowest that it ends up being the best thing for us. 

3. Let All The Hard, Uncomfortable Feelings Out 

Just as it’s important to release any thoughts holding you back, it’s also equally important to let all the hard and uncomfortable feelings out. 

Allow yourself to feel every emotion, no matter how difficult it feels. I remember I always used to try to convince myself to stay “strong”, when in reality allowing myself to feel all of those heavy emotions and releasing them would’ve helped me learn how to move on.

We aren’t only strong when we can finally let go. We’re strong even in the moments when we feel weak because we keep moving forward despite feeling like we’re in pieces.

A lot of the time, emotional baggage stays with us because it feels easier for us to ignore it rather than work through it. We can’t ignore the hard things or reject our true feelings in hopes that they’ll eventually go away. Shoving a problem under the rug always resurfaces later. Once we can identify what needs healing and the emotions we need to work through, the sooner we can start learning how to let go. 

Sit with the hard and uncomfortable feelings and emotions. Never be afraid to dig deep and feel every single one of them. Feeling and releasing our emotions is one of the guaranteed ways we’ll be able to move on and release the emotional baggage.  

5 tips for letting go of emotional baggage


4. Commit To Working On Yourself 

Whenever we hold onto anything that’s weighing us down from the past, it can lead to other issues in current or future relationships that we get into.

After getting out of that toxic relationship, I knew I had a lot to work on within myself, including rebuilding my self-esteem and addressing the trust issues that stemmed from what I went through. I realized if I hadn’t worked on myself and those trust issues, I would’ve struggled to trust the next person I was with. 

Once I learned how to put myself first in every situation from there on out, I found it easier to let go. Sometimes, it’s hard for us to release the emotional baggage we hold onto because of the past or the thoughts that we aren’t good enough.

Consistently putting yourself first and what’s important to you and your mental health will help you work on those unhealthy relationship patterns, to avoid it in the future. Meet yourself where you are, working on yourself takes time and patience. Especially when working through the heavy things that are hard to deal with.  

5. Accept The Situation For What It Is, Not What You Want It To Be 

In the past, I struggled with releasing emotional baggage because I kept overanalyzing and thinking about what I went through over and over.

But what a lot of those feelings came down to was that I was holding on to an “idea” of somebody, rather than accepting the situation for exactly what it was. 

When we perceive a situation or someone based on how we want them to be rather than accepting them as they are, we end up holding onto the emotions and feelings associated with what happened, hoping things will change or return to the way they were.

Instead of looking at it through the narrow lens of what we want to hold onto, take it as an opportunity to accept it for what it is: to recognize what you do and don’t want in a relationship, and what you will and won’t tolerate in the future. We shouldn’t only look at people for how we want to perceive them, but rather learn how to accept somebody’s true colors for what they are. 

Accepting a situation for what it is rather than what you want it to be will help you learn how to start letting go and release any emotional baggage. Carrying over hurt feelings or unresolved trauma isn’t fair to your future partner or yourself.

5 tips for letting go of emotional baggage


Unraveling the feelings that come with emotional baggage takes time to work through. Instead of burying your emotions or ignoring past pains, learn how to dive deep into those issues from the inside out so you’re not carrying them into your next relationship. The present and future you deserve only the best.

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