Admitting a problem can be difficult, but some aren’t always apparent. This is especially true of emotional hoarding, which makes everyday life a reminder of traumatic times past. It’s not at all a healthy way to live, and the acquired stress can wreak havoc all over your body. Learn three of the signs below, as well as some solutions for this tough issue.

Fear of Change

Emotional hoarding often stems from a traumatic experience, and for many it feels safer to cling to bad feelings. This coping mechanism creates a vicious cycle, trapping you in its hold. Leaving this zone is difficult once you’re comfortable, but if you shun any possibility of moving on, it could cripple your life further. You have to allow yourself to take risks and acknowledge that your feelings are in the past, and then let them go.


This can be on people, places, or things, but the problem is that you meditate on them far longer than you need to—perhaps to the point of not doing anything else. You fret over things you could’ve said or done, and you suffer for it. You might even have a physiological reaction upon interacting with your fixation.

Learn to disconnect by facing your stressors head on. Don’t avoid them; recognize how they affect you and consider why you keep holding on. Getting help from a loved one or professional can help you further wipe these hoardings away. This includes services to help you declutter, since emotional problems can easily manifest in physical things. You may consider working with waste disposal companies to help you get rid of your waste in an easy and timely manner. You can get rid of all the burdensome items still left in your life without much hassle or waste for the outside world.

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Pain Avoidance

It’s natural to avoid pain. It becomes unnatural when you run from your life at large for fear of reliving unfortunate experiences. We all have to deal with discomfort in life, and you can't avoid every potentially painful moment you meet. If a habit of avoidance becomes a reflex, it's time to face your fears and potentially see a professional to help you stand your ground.

Ultimately you have to learn to recognize the problem and take steps to let go of the feelings you harbor. It won't be easy, but you'll be stuck in misery otherwise. Isolating yourself from the world completely might feel nice, but it prevents you from growing. Letting yourself move forward will break the hold emotional hoarding tries to force on your life.

Emma is a freelance writer currently living in Boston, MA. For waste removal companies Emma recommends using Green Bin. She writes most often on education and business. To see more from Emma, say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2

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