Overcome Emotional Baggage
What is Emotional Baggage?
What is emotional baggage and why do you want to get rid of it? Emotional baggage are persistent, unreleased negative emotions connected to negative events in the past.
If you have a negative experience no matter how much it effects you in the moment, you most likely have ways to process it, preserve the learnings and release the emotions. What's left is the memory of the situation and the memory of HOW you felt.
Emotional Baggage is different. You had an experience but for some reason you still get a full blown emotional response every time you remember it. The emotions flow through your body just as if you where in that situation again.
You probably have some ideas already, but here are some examples anyway: An argument with your boss, a discussion with your (ex) partner, a moment where you were ridiculed in school, an embarrassing situation in your past, a situation where you were in great danger, a situation where you were exposed to intense physical or emotional pain.
You may even think it is normal to have those kind of memories and believe it serves you to still have the emotions connected to the memory.
For example if you had a phobia of snakes, where seeing a snake evokes a huge fear response, you may say that this fear is helpful because it makes you stay away from poisonous snakes and stay alive.
So what is the problem with emotional baggage? When you get into a dangerous or stressful situation your body reacts with a fight or flight or freeze response. Your body goes into survival mode, produces hormones of stress like cortisol and adrenaline, suppresses your creative thinking, your digestive system, your immune system and sends all your energy to those systems of your body that you need to survive: For example the muscles in your legs and in your arms.
Imagine a deer in the forest when a pack of wolves shows up: The body of the deer goes into survival mode, the deer (hopefully) outruns the wolves and the stress hormones get metabolizes. The deer relaxes and continues to graze.
We do the same thing, although we don't encounter wolves too often but instead bosses, spouses, deadlines, bad drivers or call center agents and our bodies do the same thing. Now there is one difference between us and the deer. Our brains are so advanced that we can imagine situations so well, that the mere memory sends us back into the situation as if it was happening right now, as if our wolves were in front of us in that very moment.
We can be in an uneventful or even happy situation like sitting on our patio or balcony, driving in our car or sitting in front of the TV when suddenly one of those memories come up and we start to feel the unreleased emotions. Suppressing our immune system every single time.
What happens if we suppress our immune system on a regular basis over hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades? The likelihood of catching a disease increases. You may have experienced catching a cold shortly after an intense negative event at work or fight with a spouse.
Now what happens if you suppress your immune system on a regular basis over decades? – Emotional baggage makes you sick. Literally.
What else does emotional baggage affect besides your health? – It impairs future decision making. When you get into a situation that reminds you of an event that you have emotional baggage connected to, you experience the appropriate emotions of that future event and then you have the unreleased emotions connected to the past event stacked on top of it:
Your emotional reaction is out of proportion and thus your physical reaction is likely to be out of proportion as well.
Common examples would be road rage, or if a word or gaze of your partner reminds you of an ex-partner and you react negative and your partner has no idea where that reaction stems from.
And what about that snake? Isn't that fear serving you? – What serves you is the knowledge that the snake in front of you may be dangerous, stop, take a step back and walk around the snake. If you see a snake on the sidewalk and your fear response makes you jump into traffic, then your emotional baggage put you at risk instead of saving you.
Now you may have noticed, that there are two kinds of emotional baggage:
1. Baggage connected to traumatic events
2. Baggage connected to other people.
Each kind of baggage requires a different way to overcome it. Let's talk about emotional baggage first that was created from a traumatic event or a sequence of traumatic events.
Mental and Emotional Release©
The technique I use to help my clients release Emotional Baggage that is connected to traumatic events is called Mental and Emotional Release (MER).
It is a technique based on NLP principles to access the unconscious part of your mind to guide you through that emotional release process that should have happened naturally but did not happen in that particular case.
MER is so powerful that it not only helps to get rid of negative emotions connected to minor events, but I have even helped clients overcome heavy trauma like phobias and PTSD.
Through a guided visualization process, MER disconnects the factual memories of the event from the emotional memories. MER helps you access and overwrite the subconscious information that runs your emotional (overreactive) response by helping you subconsciously preserving the learnings and then disconnecting the emotion in a guided visualization process.
Emotional Baggage connected to other people requires forgiveness.
The Ho'oponopono Forgiveness Process
(Guided By Arno Koch)
There are people that we believe don't deserve forgiveness. But what is the result of not forgiving?
- You harbor that emotion inside of you, whenever something reminds you of that person, negative emotions come up and you release stress hormones every time. Decisions under stress are rarely as good as decisions that you make when you are relaxed and creative.
Whom does it serve not to forgive? If the person who wronged you really wants to impair your wellbeing, they will appreciate you having those negative feelings. If it serves anyone at all, then then only THEM.
Forgiving helps you make the decisions that are right for you.
Remember, forgiving someone doesn't mean to like that person again. It means "getting flat" with the person.
It is also not an alternative to setting boundaries. You may want to exercise forgiveness when someone violated a boundary of yours, but the next step is to enforce the boundary with love and do what it takes, so that person does not do it again.
If you still wonder if forgiveness is possible or appropriate in your case, read this amazing story.
There are 3 main reasons to forgive:
1. Someone wronged you
2. Someone did something that is really okay but you have a hard time dealing with it (Like when your daughter goes on her first date)
3. Someone left/ died and you haven't let go yet
In all three cases the video below can help you reconcile the situation and release the negative emotions connected to it on a deep, subconscious level to get you back into a place where can make the decisions that are right for you.
When you are ready to go deeper, let go of the emotional baggage that keeps you stuck in old relationship patterns and get guidance to create a relationship you love, then apply for coaching below.
What if I have to forgive myself?
- Forgiving yourself means releasing the emotion of guilt. We do that in the Mental and Emotional Release Process.
How long does the Mental and Emotional Release Process take?
- Releasing the emotions connected to a single event - like a phobia - can take as little as 30 minutes. I have personally helped clients release phobias they had for 60 years that were gone after half an hour.
- Releasing the emotional baggage in a whole area of life is and intensive process that can take 6 - 8 hours. You can see it as collapsed therapy that reduces work that may otherwise take weeks, months or even years
How has Releasing Emotional Baggage helped you?
- Mental and Emotional Release (MER) has helped me overcome panic attacks and nightmares that recurred for 38 years of my life. It helped me lay the foundations for overcoming toxic relationship patterns.
- The Ho'oponopono forgiveness process helped me reestablish relationships to loved ones and become "flat" with people who wronged me that I don't want to have in my life anymore.
How can a guided visualization access the subconscious mind?
– You may know that you can access your subconscious mind in meditation and you may know that you can access your subconscious mind in hypnosis. Hypnosis is a guided visualization process.
My trauma happened decades ago and I am carrying it with me since then. Doesn't it take a long time to let go of it?
– An emotional imprint happens in seconds or minutes, why should it take longer to release it? Science has no explanation for that belief, to the contrary, I have helped many people do the opposite and release trauma in minutes. It takes a short time to release negative emotions, except if you don't know how. If you have lived through traumatic events in your life and think that Mental and Emotional Release could make a difference for you, or if you have further questions, then apply for coaching now.