With spring now officially here, many of us welcome in the season with a ritualistic-like spring clean of our house.
In addition to making one´s house more pleasant to live in, spring cleaning and the act of decluttering, throwing out junk, and dusting away cobwebs has shown to have therapeutic qualities leading to decreased stress, increased creativity, and improved moods.
While spring cleaning our physical space has many benefits, spring also offers the perfect opportunity to perform a mental spring clean. After all, it has been said that a clear space equals a clear mind.
Here are five ways to perform your mental spring clean:
Make “you time” YOUR time
Perhaps you´re someone who says “yes” to others´ requests when you really mean no, or perhaps put others´ needs ahead of your own. As a result, you may feel like you never have time for yourself and that your time is always being eaten up by other people.
It´s important for you to create “you time” every day. Start by looking at the things you would like to do but feel you never have time to do and make it a priority to start doing those things by reprioritising your time.
Just as important as reprioritising your time is making time to unwind and relax. Take a walk in the middle of the day or the evening, allocate time to writing the book you´re trying to finish, try a new recipe, or go to the movies - whatever feels like “you time”.
When we devote time to ourselves, we allow ourselves to recover and recharge, and we create the space to sort through all the busy-ness in our mind.
Develop Healthier Habits
Developing positive new habits go a long way in helping us declutter our brain. When we wake up on time, eat well, sleep seven hours every night, and exercise regularly, we feel good about ourselves, mentally and physically.
When we focus on bettering ourselves, we send a positive message to our brains. Positive messaging leads to increased self-esteem and reduces negative talk, which otherwise creates clutter in our mind and zaps our energy.
Another healthy habit worth developing is saving money. We feel good about ourselves when we´re on top of our finances and able to do the things in life want to do, whether it´s going on vacation or buying new clothes.
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Write It Down
One of the best ways to cut through the noise and make sense of all the chatter going on in the mind is to put your thoughts down on paper. Capturing your thoughts on paper is beneficial for a number of reasons. It helps you “release” emotions and can help you become more organised especially if your writing takes the form of a “to-do” list or schedule.
By writing things down, you are able to see things more clearly instead of having thoughts swimming around in your head. Writing in a journal can help you understand your emotions, your needs, and frustrations.
Still The Mind
Many studies have shown the benefits of regular meditation and mindfulness exercises.
Meditation and mindfulness have both been seen to reduce stress, anxiety, depression and fatigue, and boost happiness and increase self-awareness and concentration.
Mindfulness is the practice of focusing your attention on the present moment and accepting it without judgment.
Apps like Headspace and Calm are wonderful tools which can help you develop a regular practice.
Forgive and Forget
If there´s only one thing you do to spring clean your mind, then letting go of mental baggage like resentments, regrets, grudges, and disappointments is surely the most helpful.
Holding onto past emotions and judging yourself or others for the past takes up unnecessary emotionally and mental space which can negatively impact your life.
Simply put, when we forgive and forget, we create more mental clarity and allow for more helpful, positive emotions.
Here´s to a clean and clear spring!
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