Today I was listening to Erykah Badu's song "Bag Lady" after getting a picture of a woman loaded down by bags. The song says you are going to hurt yourself, carrying all that baggage. The truth is, all of the bottled up emotions about past experiences that people hold onto weigh them down. The song reminds you, that if you hold onto a lot of baggage you will hurt yourself. The picture, is a visualization, about the baggage people carry and how they can get overloaded. We overpack on this journey called life and often carry a heavy load when it woud be wise to pack lighter. When the baggage is too difficult, like the song says, you start to experience physical and emotional pain.
That baggage, and emotional pain can be depression from an traumatic event or other life altering experiences. Many have experienced more than one traumatic event; like abuse, loss of a loved one, financial problems, relationship woes, the difficulty of raising children or employment issues. Carrying emotional problems around can lead to anxiety and depression. Depression is chronic feelings of sadness,despair, loss of interest, hopelessness, weight changes, trouble concentrating, and recurrent thoughts of death. Many individuals who experience depression have recurrent thoughts of suicide. Depression is a mental health disorder, that requires therapeutic and medical treatment.
A little worry and stress is normal and everyone experiences nervousness when encountering new experiences. However, anxiety is excessive stress and worry about the past or future events. Anxiety is usually based on uncontrolled fears and can result in physical symptoms like irritability, crying, stomach aches, headaches, sleep deprivation and many other physical symtoms. Anxiety like depression is best treated with a therapeutic intervention and or medication if needed.
If you get caught trapped in your fears, anxiety, guilt, anger, hurt, pride, and abuse here are some tips that you can use;
1. Let go of it all. This is the hardest step for most people, however it is the step that provides the most relief. When you hold onto to too many bags, you can't help but feel weighed down. I will use the analogy of a bird. When a bird leaves the nest it simply jumps off and his or her wings will start to flap and that is when the bird begins to soar. Let go of your fears, because the only purpose that fear has, is to limit your future.
2. Forgive because holding onto agner is hurting you more than it is hurting others. People who carry around anger don't realize the individual they are angry with has moved on to something different. If you spend time holding onto a grudge or anger it only festers within inside of you and causes you emotional distress. Use the empty chair technique, where you pretend to confront the offender and then let it go. Write a letter to your offender, read it and then tear it up. Most of all stop holding onto anger.
3. Anxiety can be managed through releasing the past, and concentrating on the moment. If you want to get rid of anxiety practice some mindful or meditation habits to strengthen you mind and release ot from fears and excessive worry. Mindfulness increases your ability to relax and stop worrying about anything. If you practice staying in the moment and stop trying to predict the future you will be happier. " Practice listening to calming music and learning how to breathe more deeply. Lastly think about whether or not your anxiety is helpful and if it serves a purpose.
4. Pride is always associated with ego and ego is what gets people into a lot of trouble. From a biblical standpoint " A haughty spirit goes before a fall. The proud will be humbled. Having pride that doesn't derive from arrogance may be helpful. However, the type of pride that goes with the ego, is the type where individuals make rash decisions to save face or avoid facing problems. It is also the kind of pride where the individual does not consider the positive and negative impact of their actions. Pride can cause you to react instead of acting.
5. Change begins in your thought process, and your thoughts produce actions. To let go of the baggage you are carrying, you must adjust your attitude. It is not your responsibility to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. Change can happen by reflecting on the positive in your life. Let go of anger, pride, anxiety, guilt, and any other problems that weigh you down. Separate from toxic and or abusive relationships where you feel hurt, fearful, ashamed, or burdened. Engage in relationships with people who are uplifting, supportive, encouraging, kind, caring and looking out for you best interest.
6. Practice self-care by engaging in activities that bring you joy and happiness. Self-care activities are different to each individual and here are a few; listening to music, treating yourself to something special that you like, massage or spa day, interacting with positive people, reading and spending some quiet time alone. Think positive thoughts about your future and the plans you will make. Dwell in the possibilities and let go of negative thinking.