Spring Cleaning Your Mindset

In the winter, we all slow down and hibernate. We tend to procrastinate, hide out at home, and even stay in situations or relationships that are not working for us.

With the first day of spring fast approaching, we all begin to feel a little more hopeful and positive. We have the urge to clean out our closets, dust off our shelves and get organized. What would happen if we applied that same motivation to our internal world? How do we pack up and ship out that emotional baggage we have been carrying?

First, take inventory of your life, much as you would take inventory of your household in the spring. Pick an area of your life that you feel needs work, and rate how happy you are with it on a scale of 0-10. It could be your relationships, your finances, your health, whatever that “thing” is that nags at you, that you always resolve to change, but never do. Figure out why that certain part of your life is not working. What is your biggest complaint? How does it make you feel? What has stopped you from changing it? Why do you continue to let it be a negative part of your life? If you don’t take a serious look at the issue, how can you hope to change it?

Second, clean it up! Just as you confront the dust and mess that has been gathering in your home over the winter, you have to confront your emotional issues. Maybe it is having that talk with your partner or co-worker, or actually seeking the help of a professional in terms of weight loss or emotional issues. If there is an issue you want solved, you have to talk about it. Like a weed, negative parts of your life can grow and spread, actually choking out the positivity surrounding it.

For example, if you struggle with a person at work who drives you crazy, makes you feel bad, or even angry, you often go home thinking about that person. You may talk about them over dinner with your partner, and vent about them to your friend on the phone later that night, so that the one negative incident haunts you right up until you end your day. So, make a plan to talk about the issue with that person. Or if it is an issue with yourself or your habits, make a plan to change it!

If you don’t change anything now, it is predictable that your life will be the same a few months, or even years in the future. Ask yourself, are you willing to live with this issue? It won’t change if you don’t change.

Finally, establish action steps. How are you going to ensure that this problem is solved, and stays away for good? Who will hold you accountable? If you can’t keep yourself in check (as many of us can’t), you may need to attend a group or have a buddy who will help you stay motivated. After all, if you plan to meet your friend at the gym, you are far more likely to exercise. Or, if it’s a bad relationship that you want to end, write down all of the reasons that your partner is not right for you. Share those reasons with a friend, and if you feel tempted to enter back into that relationship, ask your friend to stop you.

Above all, talk to a therapist, who is trained to help you sort through your issues and help you to overcome or confront the problems in your life.

It is the start of spring, so make a commitment to clean up a part of your life that is no longer working for you. If you don’t make a change, the negativity will continue to gather and grow, affecting your whole life.

Imagine your life a year from now, with nothing changed. Are you willing to live like this? Or is it time to take action?

-Nicole

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