I find that one of the key elements of lightening my load and not picking up extra emotional baggage, is in practicing forgiveness.
From the big hurts of the past, the bus driver who veered off the road and broke my back, the drunk driver that hit me in the zebra crossing, the surgeons who dropped me off the operating table, to a bunch of other not so happy memories. It wouldn't do me the slightest bit of good to blame other people for my misfortune and pain. On the contrary. In order for me to move on with my life and keep improving my health every single day, I need to practice forgiveness in grievances big and small. Otherwise these grievances and hurts will attach themselves to me, fester, grow and contaminate my life to such an extent that it will impede my healing or even increase my pain.
I've learned that the simplest tool for forgiving, is by praying for the person who hurt you (or sincerely wishing that person all the best - if you're not into prayer). If you do that every day for 3 weeks, you will notice your grievances have become considerably weaker, your heart feels lighter and you are allowing more joy to enter your life.
The only person we hurt by holding on to past wrongs is our self. And why hurt yourself more?
For more about the health benefits of forgiving, check this post on WebMD.