How Heavy is Your Emotional Baggage?

By: Dariana Taveras

4 Steps to Help You Unload Damaging Feelings

If we were to unload our baggage, what would we find? Yes, we may find toiletries, pre-coordinated outfits, a pair of trendy sunglasses, a few pairs of shoes, and maybe even some jewelry to match… But, what about the nonmaterial items we stuff beneath the surface of our belongings?

For instance, some of us carry the weight of missed birthdays, unreturned phone calls, lost friendships, failed relationships, or even missed opportunities because of procrastination. Others carry challenges passed over because of low self-esteem and a lack of confidence. We may carry regrets that prevent us from moving forward with our lives. There may be nostalgia about particular broken friendships with people we have known for years on end. We go back and forth trying to figure out how to most effectively make sense of relationships, responsibilities, expectations, resentments, and frustration that exist day to day. Before we know it, we slip further and further down a slope of suffering until our hearts are heavy with sorrow and our minds are cluttered with distress. Often times we do not realize how quickly this may escalate and hinder our ability to find happiness.

If you feel affected by a heavy load of unresolved feelings and emotions, it may be helpful to consider the following:

1. Tune into what triggers you to hold on to your distress. This requires self-reflection and insight that will help you move towards identifying the source of your problems!

2. Once the source has been identified, take small steps to move forward towards something more beneficial and personally purposeful.

3. Do not allow the triggers of your emotional turmoil to influence the way you view the world. Change the way you view your circumstances into more proactive and positive perceptions.

4. Be patient with your endeavors. Things do not magically transform overnight. The best things in life take time!

If you are concerned that you or anyone you care about may be negatively affected by stress or anxiety, the licensed professionals at Arista Counseling&Psychotherapy can assist you.  Contact our Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan offices of psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment.  Visit for more information.


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