Spring is the time for renewal.It’s getting warmer and the trees are starting to bloom. People are getting excited that it’s going to be warm again. It’s also the time for spring cleaning! It’s time to get rid of the clutter and take the trash out. But have you ever thought of spring cleaning your mind as well?
Yes, it is possible to refresh your mind as well as your environment! I want to share with you some simple ways you can use to take out the old negative garbage in your mind and replace it with new, sparkling thoughts. These sparkling thoughts will only gain in power over time with a little maintenance. But first, we have to do some cleaning!
Why should we clean our minds?
Think about the last time you cleaned out your car or your garage. Didn’t it feel good? Didn’t you want to hang around in there and go for a drive, or start a new project with all that space? In the same way, you can start to feel even better about yourself than you do right now, if you just take some time to clean out the trash that’s tucked away in there.
What does mental dirt look like?
What exactly are we cleaning up here? Let’s take a look at what “mental dirt” is made of:
Negative thoughts about others (“I’m better than him or her.”)
Defeating self-talk (“I’ll never be good enough.”)
Old negative habits (“I can stay up till 3 AM and be fine, really!”)
Beliefs that don’t help you succeed (“I could never start a business because…”)
Take a moment and think about what it would be like to get rid of these, even for a short time.
How effective could you become?
First, gain some space
When you clean your house, first you need to get enough room to move around and see what needs to be cleaned. To do this mentally, simply find a quiet place to relax and take three breaths. Breathe in and hold it as long as it is comfortable, then breathe out and hold it as long as it is comfortable. You should feel yourself start to relax and feel clear.
Pick the room you want to clean
Now that you have some free space in your mind, think about what you’d like to get rid of. Most people don’t take the time to clean their minds up, so there could be quite a few things! Don’t fret and take it slow. Just pick one bad habit or persistent negative thought at a time and stick with working on it until you’re satisfied, then move to the next one. If it helps you, make a list of five things you’d like to clean up in your mind and post them where you can see them. As you make progress, put a line through each item of your list as a reminder of your accomplishment.
I will give you one caveat. If you have a serious trauma or mental health issue it is best to work with a mental health professional. They’ve got the tools to help bring you beyond a spring cleaning all the way to a full renovation!
Gather your cleaning supplies
Now we need to get the know-how to clean up our minds. Look for articles, self-help books, and forums about your particular issue. A quick walk down to your local bookstore’s self-help or psychology aisle could turn up some books that may be very helpful for you. Find at least two books and no more than five on your subject. It’s very easy to get lost inside of books rather than fixing the problem, so don’t go overboard! Don’t let gathering good advice get in the way of actually cleaning things up.
Kick out anyone that won’t help
One big block to your mental cleaning may not even be in your brain at all. The people that you surround yourself with have a powerful effect on your mind. If they are contributing to your mental dirt, then you need to separate yourself from them first. If they raise a fuss, maybe they weren’t your friends to start with?
Now, get to work!
Once you have some knowledge, it needs to be applied with as much intensity as a good spring cleaning! Of course, what exact technique you’ll use will vary depending on what you chose. Here is a good general-purpose one to try out. Get a watch with a timer on it and set it to beep every 20 minutes. Every time you hear the beep, say to yourself “I can” and watch what happens in your mind. Don’t react to it. Just let it happen. Try this for 30 days and see what happens. If you like, write a journal about your experiences with this exercise. You may be surprised!
Is it clean yet?
Unfortunately, our minds can take a little longer to clean than our basements. You should give any technique that you try a good 30 days to take effect before trying something else or switching topics. Even if you feel like you got rid of some mental dirt quickly, it’s good to make extra sure that it is all gone. Plus, this will reinforce the good habits that you’re cultivating.
Keep at it! Your mental house is a lot bigger than your physical one, but it can be cleaned. Slow and steady really wins the race when it comes to mental dirt.
Here are a few things you can do right now to put these ideas into actions:
First, be aware of your negative thoughts. As soon you have a negative thought, hurry up and replace it with a positive one.
Second, make a list of all the negative and positive people in your life. Make sure you start spending more time with the positive people. They will inspire you and help you grow.
Third, start focusing on the future. Stop going to the past to look for success. You will never find it there. Remember if you live in the past, you will die in the past. Make a list of all the great things you want to accomplish and go after them.
“Remember that it is up to you to choose everyday to Get off Your Attitude and to create a positive lifestyle for yourself and others.” Ryan C. Lowe