You have probably heard the term ‘emotional baggage’. It is sometimes used to describe the phenomenon of carrying past trauma or so-called negative experiences through life, relationships, or a career.

Everyone carries unprocessed emotions from experiences to some degree. However, emotions that are not dealt with don’t just go away. They can affect the way you think about yourself, how you react to stress, your physical well-being, and your relationships with others.

Not only that, repressed negative emotional energy can express as resentment, poor decision-making, self-sabotage, overreaction, increased anxiety and stress, depression, and fatigue.

“Everything that happens to us emotionally or psychologically happens to our bodies as well. It’s all connected.” James S. Gordon, M.D

Trauma and stress get stuck in the body even when we may not be consciously thinking about the actual trauma. We now can understand how repressed anger draws more anger. Have you known people who are always angry and seem to attract angry situations into their lives? Your emotional body will take your lead and attract more of the same.

Humour helps people release their emotions, often in a raucous burst of laughter. Music is often in itself an emotional experience. When you feel sad and listen to a sad song, it releases those sad feelings and clears the way for more positive emotions.

If you feel like you are often overwhelmed and it gives you anxiety, you may need to endure it for a while, be with the emotions, so that you can feel more comfortable with them and better understand them going forward.

Of course, if none of these techniques help, talking to a counsellor can make a big difference and bring catharsis.

Holistic counselling encourages their patient to talk about past experiences and emotions. The goal of the therapy is to go deeper than the person usually does in their everyday life, so they can experience catharsis with the root problems of their present difficulties.

Feel the feeling, but don’t become the emotion. Witness it. Allow it. Release it.