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How to Release ‘Emotional Baggage’ and the Tension That Goes with It

0 2 years ago

You’ve probably heard the term “emotional baggage.”

It’s sometimes used to describe the phenomenon of carrying past trauma or so-called negative experiences through life, relationships, or a career.

You may see this reflected in someone’s posture as if they’re carrying around an unbearable weight. It may even prevent them from moving forward in life.

Everyone carries unprocessed emotions from experiences to some degree. However, emotions that aren’t 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
  • your relationships with others

After all, emotional baggage gets its name from somewhere, right?

Let’s unpack the layers of how and where emotions get stuck, so you can release what’s weighing you down.

What does it mean to have ‘trapped’ emotions?

Perhaps you’ve heard of people crying during yoga, massage, or acupuncture treatment because of a tender spot that, when activated, appears to lead to an emotional release.

Though some may refer to trauma being “stored” or “trapped” in the body, that isn’t necessarily a scientific way to put it.

However, the symptoms of traumatic stress can manifest physically.

This may be because the brain associates this area with a particular memory — often on a subconscious level.

Activating certain areas of the body may trigger these memories, according to Mark Olson, PhD, LMT, the owner and director of the Pacific Center for Awareness & Bodywork.

“Emotions are constantly being generated — subconsciously or consciously — in response to the reactivation of memories or unsatisfied goals,” Olson says. “The touch to X area is simply a reliable stimulus to reconstruct the pattern associated with that traumatic event.”

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