Mental Health by Cindy Turner

Cindy Turner helps guide us with any mental health issues you may have in this article she asks, are you –

Carrying the Burden of Your Past Into Your Future

When you focus on the past

This is known as having emotional baggage. Everyone has stuff come up about their past, but it’s when you focus on it and let it fester that it can cause problems in your present life.

It can also hold you back from enjoying your future life. Emotional baggage can stem from events that happened to you – such as from being in an abusive relationship, from physical or emotional traumas such as a car crash, or from carrying a burden you shouldn’t be carrying like guilt.

When you hold onto the burdens of your past

It affects how you live your life now as well as how you will live in the future. It can become your identity because you get stuck in a certain pattern that was created by a past event.

Whatever it is that you experienced then colours how you behave with others, how you handle your day-to-day life. How you process thoughts and what your beliefs are today.

People carry the burden of the past because they’ve never healed the emotional blow that stemmed from the situation.

The hurt they felt back then is still there just under the surface. It might be something that’s steeped in anger or anxiety. Or it could be that you’re stuck in feelings of grief or sadness.

When you carrying a burden like this, it can make you feel like you never left that time in your life. Your emotions will feel as raw now when you think about it as they did back then.

Not only can it weigh on your emotions today when you focus on the past, but it can also hurt you physically. You can develop things like insomnia, chronic stress, stomachaches, elevated blood pressure and more.

In order to leave the past where it belongs, you have to heal

That means you must unload that baggage so you can move on. You should keep in mind that you can’t heal from what you don’t name.

So when it comes to the past, you have to look at it and uncover the pain that’s keeping you tethered to that event, person or whatever it is. Write out the things that bother you now about the past and why they bother you.

It can be helpful to take this list and speak out loud or write a letter that you eventually destroy to the past situation or to the person who wounded you. As you read out the words, picture being released into the air, taking the connected emotion with it until it dissipates.

Accept whatever you went through without assigning blame to yourself or someone else. This is a step toward letting it go. This doesn’t mean that someone else isn’t to blame or that it didn’t bother you emotionally.

It means that you’re recognising that the past has had enough of your life already and you’re done with that. Once you identify what happened and what kind of emotional reaction it caused you, you find peace by loving yourself through it.

Be compassionate toward yourself. Forgive the pain of the past. Forgive your mistakes. Unpack the burden of your past by practising self-help techniques if needed to help heal from past triggers.

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See Cindy’s Article – 5 Things That Take an Emotional Toll on You on the next page.