How to Release Build-up Emotions: ‘Emotional Baggage’


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Build-up emotions are like ’emotional baggage’. It means carrying past trauma or negative experiences through life, relationship, or career.

Sometimes, a person’s posture could tell if they’re going through a trauma and can prevent them from moving forward.

Carrying emotional baggage can affect:

  • the way you think about yourself
  • how you react to stress
  • your physical well-being
  • your relationships with others

How to release emotions?

Have you ever felt the need to cry, laugh, scream or even punch something? People are often taught to bury the pain and move on. But this can lead to repressed emotions with time. 

You can release these repressed emotions in a few ways such as:

  • acknowledging your feelings
  • working through trauma
  • trying shadow work 
  • making intentional movement
  • practising stillness

Acknowledge your feelings

To begin with, try to connect and understand your emotions. However, some people face problems in identifying their emotions and might need a mental health expert to talk to.

You can also explore ways to categorize your emotions to help you make sense of them.


Work through past trauma

Past trauma could be any type of mental burden that we carry around for years, mostly from our childhood.

For instance:

  • abuse, including mental, emotional, physical, or sexual
  • neglect
  • loss of a loved one
  • separation from a parent or caregiver
  • bullying
  • dysfunction at home

Unsettled childhood trauma can show up in many ways includes:

  • self-blaming
  • casting blame on others
  • feeling depressed 
  • withdrawing from social activities

Experts suggest it’s important to feel grief about the things that you might never forget. And once you have gone through the grief, you can acknowledge the adaptive strategy you developed as a result.

Adaptive strategy can be anything that can help you overcome grief. But be careful while recognizing your strategy.

Shadow work

Shadow work is a way of exploring a different part of ourselves that is hidden, maybe due to shame or embarrassment. People tend to hide the parts of themselves that they believe are unacceptable.

Intentional movement

Examples of intentional movement include:

  • dance
  • stretching
  • yoga
  • shaking
  • martial arts
  • qi gong
  • tai chi
  • meditative walking
  • belly breathing exercises

These activities will help you release any stored energy as it helps the brain to recognize the difference between tension and relaxation.

Practising stillness

Being still allows us to be with our thoughts and feelings in a present state.

Some ways to practice stillness are:

  • meditation
  • breathing exercises
  • sitting in nature
  • listening to calming music
  • repeating affirmations 
  • progressive muscle relaxation




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