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Does Mental Spring Cleaning Really Work?

As the weather warms up and the season of renewal approaches, you may be thinking about getting rid of old furniture, toys, clothes, and other clutter taking up space in your home.

Spring cleaning can help you organize the space in your home, but can the same concept be applied to mental health?

The short answer is “yes!” It’s possible to perform a “mental spring cleaning“—decluttering unnecessary messages, habits, and even certain people—in order to improve your state of mental health.

As you shampoo the carpets and reseed the planters, consider the following ways to spring clean your mind.

Why Should You Declutter Your Mind?

Throughout the year we may accumulate negative messages and drama that collectively impact our mental clarity and ability to enjoy life.

Eliminating these issues can help you feel refreshed (rather than depleted), and refocus your energy on self-improvement.

Ways to “Clean Out” Your Mind

How you approach a deep cleaning should be tailored to your individual needs. For many, a great way to start is by reflecting upon the things that trigger stress in your daily life. Below are a few suggestions to help you jump-start your self-reflection.

Rooting out toxic relationships

If you find a friend or other type of relationship leaves your drained and lacking in energy, it may be time to “cut the cord” with that person—or at least minimize contact as much as possible. Those people who are a constant negative presence do little to help motivate you toward positive change.

Eliminate bad habits

Bad habits can include anything from emotional eating to substance abuse problems. Select one habit to change at a time. It generally takes 30 consecutive days of consistent effort for the new behaviors to replace the old ones, so be sure to stick with it for long term results!

Remove self-doubt and negative thoughts

Negative self-talk gets in the way of achieving your goals and making positive changes. Use this season of renewal to “take stock” of your mental health—areas in your life and thoughts that may be holding you back or causing a drain on your energy—and replace those with affirming, encouraging self-talk and activities.

Ways to Start Fresh

  • Try starting a gratitude journal to help you refocus thoughts in a positive direction.
  • Cultivate supportive friendships which can help you identify and eliminate relationships that may not be affirming.
  • Work in more physical exercise, which can provide energy and boost your mood.
  • Meditation can also help you identify and release negative thoughts, reduce stress, and bring you more in tune with your inner voice and personal needs.

You can replace old habits with new behaviors gradually. Every small achievement will provide additional incentive to continue your path to better mental health!