Even though weather wise it does not quite feel like spring in many places, it has officially been spring for approximately a month. With the change of seasons, many people take the time to engage in a deep cleaning of their personal surroundings. While it is important to make sure our surroundings are relatively clean and clutter-free, there are certainly other areas of our lives that we need to spring clean as well, including the including the clutter in our minds.
When was the last time that you stopped to really think about your thoughts? (For the brainiacs out there, the term for that is “metacognition”.) If you are anything like most people (including yours truly!), you may find that when left unchecked, some thought patterns can internally lead us to some places that are not helpful or growth producing. Unfortunately, while it is just as easy to think growth producing thoughts as it is to think other kinds of thoughts, it is often the other kind of thoughts that take up the most space in our minds. These are the kinds of thoughts that include sentiments of unworthiness and unattractiveness. These thoughts also include our beliefs about our ability to change or reach important goals. Over time, such thoughts can clutter out the positive and positive change producing thoughts.
So, what are some ways to spring clean our thoughts? To start, we must really begin to take inventory of the kinds of thoughts that make their way into our heads on a regular basis. Which types of thoughts do we find ourselves thinking most often? If those thoughts are mainly healthy and positive, our thoughts are clearly on the right track. If the vast majority of our thoughts are negative, we must figure out some ways to reframe those negative thoughts or use some personal evidence to counter those thoughts. For example, if you often think about how difficult it is for you to stick to your exercise or healthy eating routines, remember the times when you were able to do so to counter those negative thoughts. Using some form of personal affirmations can also help change your thought patterns in important ways. Another important aspect of clearing some mental clutter is to stop focusing on the areas where there is a sense of lack (such as one’s financial situation, employment opportunities, or relational status) and instead focus upon finding areas of life for which to express appreciation. Such areas can include having collaborative co-workers, a well-stocked kitchen pantry, and good friends.
Spring cleaning one’s thought life is typically not an easy or brief undertaking. Doing so will certainly take time and consistent efforts. Professional support may be needed to address certain types of negative or growth-blocking thought patterns. Spring cleaning areas such as our residences or vehicles is not typically fun or exciting, but the results are usually worth the effort. Spring cleaning our thoughts will have similar results.
Be fabulous…and clean well!