How To Get Rid of Emotional Clutter


When we think of clutter, we usually visualize a packed or messy physical space.   Rarely do we give much thought to the emotional clutter we hold onto daily.   This undefined clutter blocks us from moving forward in what we want to do.  This clutter automatically says “NO” to life.

What does emotional clutter look like?

  • Complaints
  • Anxieties
  • Anger
  • Guilt
  • Resentful
  • Unloving thoughts
  • Worries
  • …the list can be quite extensive given how each of us experiences our lives.

For me, recognizing how I say “no” in my life, opened the door for more “yes” to enter.   I’m not a major complainer but have my share of anxieties or false beliefs regarding who I am and what other people think of me.   I don’t want to accumulate anymore “no’s” in my life.   I want to say “yes” to life.

What are some of the ways we diminish our lives with our emotional clutter:

  • We block what we want in our lives
  • We have a low self-image because we are filled with this emotional garbage
  • We carry around a lot of stress, and our bodies respond by breaking down under the weight of the clutter
  • We miss out on essential relationships
  • React instead of responding to life’s challenges.  Reacting leaves us powerless, whereas stopping long enough to think about how you want to respond provides you with more advantage in your life
  • We are unhappy, depressed and don’t know where to turn

Life is in constant change yet as we journey we start to collect and hold on to people, places, things, and are reluctant to release this stuff.   Under the guise of security, we hold on to our things, thoughts, and emotions.  We attach who we are by this stuff.

What can we do?
The delight in life comes when we let go of the physical and emotional stuff we carry around with us.   Try these three simple steps to help you de-clutter your emotions.

  • Make a list of all of your complaints, fears, anxieties, beliefs that hold you back, and pet peeves around other people’s behaviors.  Increase your awareness of what you are holding onto in your head and heart.  You release the burden in your head when you park the extra baggage on a piece of paper or a computer screen.
  • Review your list and decide what small steps you will take today to clear up the emotional clutter on your list.   Keep it small and manageable.  For example, maybe you put down complaining as junk in your emotional closet.   You can decide to stop yourself from complaining once during the day for the next seven days.    You built the accumulation of emotional over time, so you can slowly de-clutter your life.
  • Create a ritual that closes your day where you wash away the tensions of the day.   For some, it could be a warm bath, read spiritual books, or have a cup of tea.  Set up a ritual that tells your brain it’s time to let go of the extra bits of emotional clutter you have accumulated during the day.  Visualize yourself brushing away the emotional clutter.

Other Thoughts

  • Your emotions are telling you what needs to change.    If you see them as a reflection of where you are at and what to work on, you can be the observer and decide to change your thoughts, behaviors, beliefs.   Use your emotions as guideposts in creating breathing space in your life.
  • Emotional de-cluttering provides us with more power in our lives.
  • When we start to take ownership of our lives, it can get a bit overwhelming.   You don’t need to travel down this road alone.   Get an “emotional buddy” who wants to de-clutter their lives.  If you need professional guidance, don’t hesitate to take care of yourself.   The goal is to let go of the emotional baggage you carry, and other resources can be invaluable to your growth.

Your Thoughts

  • Do you feel that you need to start de-cluttering the unnecessary emotions fueled by useless beliefs?
  • Where in your life do you hold the most emotional clutter?
  • Have you found a way to release yourself from the bondage of wasted emotions?  I would love to hear how you did it.

Women’s Group Topics
Here is a great topic to stop “complaining.”   There is a difference between “venting” our frustrations and open to reviewing potential solutions and then deciding to make the change.  Whereas “complaining” is repeating the same thought over and over again without the benefit of change.   So how can you help yourself and others in your group decrease complaining and increase solutions to move forward in your lives?

Be well,

“To fully enjoy the ‘richness’ of our lives, we need to stop long enough to visit with ourselves.”
(Pat Brill)


Other Posts You May Be Interested In
The Stress Quartet
The Power of Forgiveness
Self-Help Technique – Emotional Freedom Technique












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3 thoughts on “How To Get Rid of Emotional Clutter

  1. I especially like how you mention that your emotions are a great gauge of what needs to change. When you are unhappy, you can be sure that something needs to change, and soon!

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