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How to Get Rid of Emotional Clutter

By Linda S. Pucci, Ph.D.

Emotions are normal. Even negative emotions such as anger, sadness, hurt, fear, or guilt. They aren’t right or wrong, they just ARE. We feel them in response to things that happen to us. The type of emotion we feel depends on the kind of experience we’ve had.

The problem with negative emotions is that often we carry around old emotions from past experiences. We’re STILL angry about something that happened years ago. We are still afraid of repeating mistakes we made when we were young. We still feel guilty about something we did last year. We’re still hurt by how someone treated us way back when.
Our feelings from old experiences become emotional clutter in our lives.

Just as physical clutter gets in the way of our ability to get things done in our home or office, emotional clutter gets in the way of our being able to achieve our goals, have satisfying relationships, and be happy. We aren’t able to see what we have going for us because too often negative emotions clutter up our life. We hang on to them, and they block us from happiness and having the life of our dreams.

Sometimes people believe that they need to hang on to old emotions from the past to be able to remember some life lesson. Actually it doesn’t work that way. We don’t need these negative emotions. Really.

The learning from experiences in your life really has nothing at all to do with hanging on to negative emotions. When you’ve learned your life lesson, you can certainly let go of the negative emotion and move on.

When you hang on to a negative emotion, you tend to stockpile it. You may end up carrying around 20 or 30 or 50 years worth of that negative emotion. When that happens, it colors every experience you have now. When something happens to trigger anger, for instance, you don’t just experience anger in the present, you experience 20 or 30 or 50 years worth of it. When that happens we tend to overreact, alienating others who don’t understand why our reaction is so intense.

Essentially we stockpile so much emotional clutter that we tend to trip over it everywhere we go, in every interaction, in everything we attempt. Clearing out emotional clutter is one of the first things I recommend to people who want to have a more satisfying, meaningful life. Getting rid of the emotional clutter from your past will allow you to create a more meaningful, satisfying life, free from old emotions that just get in the way.

The good news is that it doesn’t require years and years of therapy to get rid of negative emotions from the past. While it is true that you have to be willing to let it go, the actual process of letting go is much easier than people think.

Getting rid of the emotional clutter from negative emotions from your past is the most important first step in creating a life that is satisfying and meaningful. You’ll be amazed at how much lighter you will feel, how much easier it is to focus on what you want, and how much happier you become.

© 2012 Linda Pucci, Ph.D.

Linda Pucci, Ph.D. is a life coach, trainer and owner of Inner Resource Center, LLC. She has 34 years of experience helping people overcome obstacles, change their lives, and reach goals they had not thought possible using her solution focused approach. She specializes in helping people get unstuck from “emotional clutter”–the negative emotions and limiting beliefs that sabotage their success. For more techniques, order her self help ebook: “Get Rid of Emotional Clutter: How Negative Emotions and Limiting Beliefs Block Your Dreams and What to Do About It”.