Family · Psychology · Relationships · Spirituality

How to Emotionally Detox

Welcome my friend! We’re going to enjoy a lovely cuppa by the waterfront today. My favorite place to sit & enjoy a moment of reflection. 

We have our take away coffee’s from the Cafè, our delicious treats from the bakery & have found a spot with a table & bench under the Gum trees overlooking the bay.

The waves are lapping upon  the shoreline, the sea gulls are squawking, the sun is shining & there is a heavy scent of sweet nectar from the flowering Gums. Truly delightful!

This week at a ladies morning tea, a dear lady gave her testimony, it was centered around having hung onto hurt, pain & trauma from others. So much so that it had physically poisoned her body & made her very ill, it was literally killing her!

Are you emotionally stuck?

In my personal & professional life I have crossed paths with many people who have become emotionally stuck.

In fact they get so emotionally stuck in a past hurt, from a soured relationship or a traumatic event that their life from that point is constantly viewed through dark colored lenses.

In other words everything gets filtered through that hurt, coloring the rest of their life in a negative veil of emotional pain.

This not only greatly impacts their quality of life but also the lives of those who love them!

Have you ever met anyone like this?

Or maybe you see yourself here?

Let’s look at what living in the past does to the present…

Relationships colored by unforgiveness

Maybe someone hurt you by their actions or inactions, maybe not necessarily in a deliberate act on their part but none the less it deeply hurt you.

This emotional pain may even have truly traumatized or angered you.

Since that event you have not been able to forgive that person for the emotional pain & hurt you experience.

But here’s the problem with holding onto emotional pain, unforgiveness & anger…it binds you to that hurt & the person who hurt you.

And it will continue to bind you to that traumatic event & time period until you release it.

Unforgiveness & anger hold us captive to that past emotional pain!

And all our relationships will be tainted by that unforgiveness. Because unforgiveness doesn’t stagnate it morphs.

Unforgiveness & anger morph into bitterness

Have you ever come across a bitter person?

Let’s look at this more closely with the following statement from Dr Leon Seltzer in Psychology Today…

“…Stephen Diamond, Ph.D., defines bitterness as “a chronic and pervasive state of smoldering resentment,” and regards it as “one of the most destructive and toxic of human emotions.”

If we repeatedly ruminate over how we’ve been victimized, “nursing” wrongs may eventually come to define some essential part of who we are. Take hold of our very personality. We’ll end up becoming victims not so much of anyone else but of ourselves.” Ref

“Bitterness is one of the most destructive & toxic of human emotions.” 

I too have found this to be the case in both my professional & personal life.

In my personal life I have been on the receiving end of two significant other’s bitterness over a past hurt they had experienced. And let me tell you it has been very toxic & destructive indeed!

Not only has our relationship been severely impacted but all related relationships of these significant others, through their toxic attempts at control & manipulation have been severely impacted.

You see bitterness leaves a path of destruction in its wake & if left unchecked will leave a very sad & lonely legacy behind for the embittered person. 


Bitterness can become so entrenched that as Stephen stated above it will take hold of that person’s very personality…they end up becoming victims not so much of anyone else but of themselves!

You see nurturing a hurt produces a malignant growth of anger which can be likened to cancer, that eventually takes over & turns into a embittered way of life .

And then sadly any attempt at reconciliation from those who may have caused that hurt or even perceived as causing it will be ignored, blocked or brushed aside. 

The need to detox

If you see yourself here as the One who has held onto hurt, no matter how big or small & know its morphing or has morphed into toxic emotions & it will my friend.

Then its time for a detox. And there’s no time like the present to start that detoxification process.

And before you think, ‘Jennifer you don’t know what you’re asking’, I can tell you my friend that I have been at the cross roads of choosing to hold on to hurt & pain or release it several times throughout my life. More shared in Forgiving the Unthinkable

But each time I stood at that cross roads I realized that one direction led to the death of my unique personality (as quoted above) & the other direction led to new growth & maturity into who I have uniquely created to be!

How to Detox

The first thing to do is go to a place where you can be alone with God. Next ask God to help you through prayer to give up that hurt you’re so tightly hanging onto which is actually killing your very personality!

Then either verbally forgive the person who hurt you, out loud before God in your own private space, or write down the hurt on paper & then burn that paper as a physical symbol that you have truly released it to the Lord as a sweet smelling sacrifice of surrender, release & forgiveness.

Then allow God to fill that space with His Holy Spirit’s peace & forgiveness that passes all understanding.

And when memories come to mind of that past hurt, just remind yourself that God has already taken that hurt & pain, no longer is it your’s to hang onto nor does it have any hold over you!

For we are implored to,

“Let all bitterness, anger, rage, bad temper, resentment, quarreling & malice of any kind be released… becoming kind, tender hearted, compassionate,  understanding,  forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you.”

Ephesians 5: 31-32

Until next time,


You’re most welcome to join me in The Reading Nook


© 2021 Jennifer M. Ross All Rights Reserved. Photo by Vera Arsic on 

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22 thoughts on “How to Emotionally Detox

    1. Absolutely Anita! That is a real danger when we are hurt & wounded because ‘dressing the wound’ actually gives an initial outlet for our upset emotions at that time. But then harbouring the wound & hurt becomes very toxic indeed.


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