Humans and, believe it or not, frogs too, like to tidy up in the spring. We decluttler and rid ourselves of unnecessary possessions. We downsize. All in hopes of living a more peaceful, harmonious life. Have you ever thought to declutter your mind, your heart, and your spirit? I know that thought had never occurred to me until I recently read an article on that very subject. We all carry around too much baggage from our past; emotions, experiences, and feelings. After time, these can become toxic; resentment, anger, past hurts, and sadness can close off our heart. Just the the way an overstuffed closet has no room for all the new things that come into your life.
It can take courage, strength, and enormous energy to clear out your internal clutter. But if you're willing to do the work, the rewards can be many and well-worth the effort. If you're up to the challenge, or just want to find ways to live a more meaningful life, here are 7 steps you can do help with your internal spring cleaning.
1. Don't make problems bigger than they are. Confront your problems head-on and early. The longer they linger, the more problematic they become. Sot through all your problems. one-by-one, and feel the freedom that comes from problem-solving before they get any bigger.
2. Let go. Letting go doesn't mean giving up; it means that you are allowing yourself to feel lighter and to move forward with ease and, maybe, a little grace. Learn to let go of trying to control others. It never works, at least not for long, and you only wind up feeling frustrated, angry, and resentful.
3. Forgive. It seems almost impossible to forgive someone when you still hurt. But that's exactly what you need to do to make the pain less. Forgiveness is a choice. It's a gift to yourself. Forgiving has an enormous positive impact on your body, mind, and spirit. Forgiveness is the ultimate act of self-love.
4. Stop worrying. If you were to make a list of all the things that you are worried about today and then put it away, when you came back to it in a week or two, you'd find that most of the things that you wrote down never happened. Worrying is a great waster of energy, time, and a huge drain on our mental well-being. The act of simply writing down your worries helps to clear away some of the weight that's in your heart.
5. Use storytelling for good. What stories are you telling yourself? Are they good and positive ones? Or they the kinds of stories that only cause you more pain and suffering? Try keeping a positive tone and perspective when you recap the day's events, regardless of what they are. When your mind is told positive things versus, negative ones, it can have a powerful impact on how you view yourself and your life. Positivity heals. Negativity destroys.
6. Makeover your thoughts. We all have continuous chatter running through our heads all the time. This "mind noise" starts the moment we wake up and is there until we fall asleep. We know that it's important to monitor how we speak to and communicate with others. And it's equally important how we talk to ourselves. Learning to be kind and gentle with ourselves, to send ourselves positive messages, can help us to view our life and our current situations, whatever they are, as positive. It's time to to "dump" the negative self talk. You don't need it any longer. You've outgrown it.
7. Center yourself. When you do become overly stressed out and overwhelmed. take a few minutes to bring yourself back to the here and now. Breathing exercises, yoga or other physical exercise, and meditation are ways we can center ourselves and bring us back to present moment awareness. Just as we need to take a break whenever we're engaging in hard work, like cleaning out our closets or the overstuffed garage, taking time each day for a mental "coffee break" (or time out) can help us refresh, renew, and reinvigorate.
When you take time to clear out your internal clutter, you make room for the things that matter most to you; increased joy, happiness, wellness and, of course, love.
Happy Spring Cleaning!