Most people spring clean their homes, but you can take an extra approach this year, and spring clean your mind from all the negative emotions, thoughts, routines, and habits. Here’s how to feel more focused on bringing in positivity and living in the present moment.
Ditch The Overthinking Habit
Do you find yourself thinking way too much about certain situations, especially those you can’t do anything about? If the answer is yes, it’s time to get rid of that habit, as not only does it pile on more stress than you want and need, but it also makes dealing with the situation in question harder and more complex than it actually is.
Overthinking doesn’t get anything done, as you’re using all of your brain functions to overanalyze, and in the end, procrastinate about what you should do and how you should do it.
Instead, focus on the action plan and set the wheels in motion. Give yourself a deadline to get something done, or dealt with, and honor it. Whether it’s a new routine you’re trying to implement into your life like getting up earlier in the morning, deciding to learn a new skill and study for it, talk to your boss and ask for a raise, or tidy up your relationships and get some closure, all it takes is the first step.
It’s not easy switching from thinking about something to actually doing it, but once you start crossing things off your list, you’ll develop a unique thrill of accomplishment that will keep pushing you forward. The more you do, the more you have the chance to control it, because by sitting down and going in circles about “should’ve, would’ve, could’ve” you’re always staying in place, not even giving yourself the chance to move.
Turn Your Mind to a No Judgment Zone
There probably isn’t a person in the world who doesn’t judge for at least a little bit, even if their intentions are good. Judging comes from a mixture of our own opinions and emotions, making us think we know better than the other person, or how we would have done something differently. And, even if you don’t consider yourself as someone who feels this way, what about the judgment you practice on yourself?
Almost everyone experienced a situation where they thought to themselves, “I should have handled this differently,” or “Why did I do that? I should have known better.” That is self-judgment, and sometimes it can be so harsh that we actually start believing our own words. That’s harmful, and it’s time to switch it up.
Before you let your judging emotions prevail, take a second to look at the situation from a couple of different perspectives, and try to understand why someone’s acting they way they are or why you got yourself in the state of unhappiness and struggle. Mistakes are a natural part of life, and learning from them and growing instead of putting yourself (or others) down, is the only real way to get out of the negative bubble and emerge with a solution to not let it happen again.
Being more open and mindful of the way people live their lives, as well as your own actions and the way you live your life, is key to letting go of critique and judgment, and realizing there is always more than one side to every story.
Let Go Of Guilt
Feeling guilty about something that already happened is only hurting you, without bringing any more clarity or solutions. It’s normal to feel guilty if you’ve done something wrong, but make it your mission to apologize and show genuine remorse. If it’s something that can be fixed or corrected, do your best to make it happen, but let go of the guilt suffocating you and not letting you breathe—it’s definitely not helping you perform better.
On the other hand, there’s another form of guilt many of us experience as well, where we feel like we should call our parents more, donate to charity, help our friend even if we don’t feel like it, eat a better diet, or sign up for the gym membership. These guilty feelings are much easier to get rid of as we have more control over them.
Carve out more time in your week to call your family. Grab all the clothes and books you really don’t wear and won’t read (or re-read) and take them to a local charity. Call your friend and offer your help. Go to the farmer’s market and buy fresh seasonal ingredients, then plan your healthy meals for the week. Get up and finally get a gym membership. The simplest solution is usually the best one out there. Make the right moves when you need to and let go of feeling bad; what’s done is done, the only real way is forward.
Turn Negativity Into Positivity
There’s no doubt that negative attracts negative, and that’s why it can be so easy to fall down the rabbit hole, feeling blue like nothing’s going your way. Although you might not be able to change whatever caused your negative emotions in the first place, you’re definitely able to control your reactions and the possible outcome.
Start with reframing your thoughts and words and ditching their negative synonyms (link to my article on negativity), to shine a new light on how you see things. Turn your problems into challenges, and see them as something that needs improving and being worked on instead of a tragedy that can’t be reversed.
The more you practice getting into problem-solving mode before you even take your mind on the negative spin, the lesser the impact, and the more chance to actually find a way to fix whatever’s broken. It all takes time and practice; nothing can be achieved overnight.
We’re all only human, and there’ll always be things to worry about, feel guilty about, and procrastinate over. Take your spring cleaning inwards this time around, and release yourself from unnecessary struggles and burden weighing you down.