7 Ways to Spring Clean Your Psyche
Amanda Page | April 16, 2013
Spring has finally arrived, and with it usually comes an improved mood and newfound energy to shape up your home. But it’s just as important to devote some energy to your own mental well being. Why not tidy up your psyche this spring and unclutter your mental mess?
The colder months make it easy to curl up on the couch and put your goals on hold. But now’s the time to ditch the excuses. Start by making a list of things you want to do and things you should take care of. Empty your thoughts onto a piece of paper and prioritize them by breaking them down into numbered sections. You may find that the list looks much simpler on paper than it felt bouncing around in your head.
Diet and exercise are key factors in mental health. If your mind is feeling cluttered, chances are that your diet and fitness are contributing factors. Take advantage of the spring weather–get outdoors and start eating fresh seasonal foods. Make sure you are eating a well-rounded diet of complex carbs, vegetables, fruits, proteins, and oil. This will help maintain high energy levels, keep stress in check, and help your immune system thrive.
Drop the baggage
What’s holding you back? Identify toxic relationships and bad habits that are preventing you from reaching your goals. Ask yourself what you would lose by eliminating the baggage and what you would gain. Will this add stress or reduce it? Freeing yourself from negativity and distractions will give you more time to focus on what’s truly important.
Face your fears
Some fears such as spiders, heights, or drowning are obvious, but some fears are largely unconscious. Are social norms, family expectations, or peer pressure driving you to act a certain way? Are you afraid to be yourself or to try something new out of fear of what others may think? No matter what your fear, commit to overcoming it and seek assistance from a counselor or mentor, if necessary.
Self-confidence is an essential ingredient in the happiness pie. Low self-confidence is linked to depression, anxiety, and even addiction, because it influences how you view yourself and your ability to accomplish goals or interact with others. Keep bringing your focus back to what makes you a unique individual and what you like about yourself.
Is your psyche holding onto anger? Do you need or want to forgive someone? Research shows that forgiveness can actually improve personal well-being and physical health. Aside from the emotional suffering involved, anger contributes to cardiovascular disease and a weakened immune system. But while forgiving someone can be very difficult, remember that holding on to a grudge is harming you and accomplishing nothing.
Research shows that optimism is linked to improved cardiovascular health and even a reduced risk of stroke. Do you tend toward pessimism? While we may not have much control over external events, remember that we do have control over our attitude. Being an optimist doesn’t happen overnight, but with practice you can train yourself to think positively. And remember, nothing is gained through despair.