Spring is finally here and flowers and new possibilities are blooming.
It’s a wonderful time to do a bit of spring cleaning…. In your mind! Giving your mind a good mental dusting is a great way to let go of the past and move forward with renewed vigour.
If you are not yet feeling in the swing of spring, now is the time to give yourself a mental reboot in time for summer so you can step into the sunshine and let your fabulous bloom!
When we spring clean our homes, we consciously make a decision to get rid of those items we no longer need and the results can be life changing. Most of us have unwanted clothes, belongings and other baggage that are reminders of the past. This physical clutter can have the same impact as mental clutter because when a brain is in a state of chaos it simply cannot concentrate.
When our brain is in clutter mode it produces the stress hormone cortisol. This prevents ideas and thoughts being processed and stored in our main frame and stops us from being able to think clearly.
When we are relaxed or in a daydream like state, (that we hypnotherapists call trance) we are open and receptive to new possibilities and better able to concentrate more easily, allowing our creativity to flow.
Neuroscientist Mark Waldman says:
“If you let chronic worry about things, real or imagined go unchecked, you will begin to decrease activity in your frontal lobes”. This is where creative thinking and problem solving takes place”.
Waldman suggests retraining the brain by replacing the unwanted thought, feelings and fear with more positive thoughts and feelings.
So, what can we do to clear out the mental clutter and spring clean our minds?
- Get moving and start exercising – Go for a walk and enjoy the lovely spring air. To keep yourself motivated, find a walking buddy or borrow a dog to get you outdoors and exposed to vitamin D and daylight. Aim for 30 minutes a day of exercise and this will really help. The neuroscientist John Ratey talks about the importance of exercise in his book Spark. He describes “Going for a run is like taking Prozac because, like the drugs, exercise elevates the same neurotransmitters”.
- Turn off the technology – Give yourself a break from the daily information overload.
- Be grateful – Think about three things that you are grateful for each day. It could be the simple things in life, like having running water, a warm home or that the sun is shining outside. Why?
- Take baby steps – Set yourself a simple and attainable goal. It must be realistic and achievable to give yourself a positive boost or your inner gremlins will beat you up.
- Spring clean your closets – give away all the clothes you longer need or fit you. A friend or family member may be delighted to get a new wardrobe. The act of giving produces feel good hormones in our bodies.
- Read the Marie Kondo books “Spark Joy” or “The life changing Management of tidying up” to inspire you. These can often be found or ordered in via your local library. My local library was able to supply me with both. You can apply the same principles to mental clutter. It’s about discarding what doesn’t make you happy and organising the rest.
- Eat healthily – Ditch the processed food and instead cook yourself some homemade food made with natural ingredients.
- Clear out your cupboards of out of date foods. Next, sort the cupboards so you can find what you have inside them easily and in the herbs/spices cupboards write a list and stick it on the inside of your door.
- Hydrate – Water helps to transport nutrients around the body, digest food, regulate body temperature, keeps skin, hair and nails healthy, helps us to concentrate and much more.
- Go to bed early – Sleep is essential for vitality, brain function and reducing anxiety levels. Avoid caffeine and heavy meals late in the evening and have a blue screen detox at least an hour before going to sleep.
Clearing away your negative thought patterns and replacing them with positive thoughts and a fresh approach will set the tone and get you in the swing of spring.
By setting ourselves simple tasks and breaking them down into bite size chunks, it won’t seem overwhelming and the motivation will follow.
Stop telling yourself you can’t do it. Start telling yourself you can!
Our brain can’t tell the difference between what is real and what is false so we can channel that internal message into something positive.
The change is ultimately down to you and be it a mental or physical spring clean you can clear away the cobwebs and move onto a newer and happier version of you.
Judith Ward is a clinical hypnotherapist and uses a modern approach known as Solution Focused hypnotherapy. The great thing about this approach is that you don’t have to bring up painful memories from the past. It focuses on where you want to get to.
Judith lives in Northern Ireland but works globally via Skype to help clients achieve a happier version of themselves. Judith helps people find solutions using the latest brain based research combined with hypnotherapy. This could be from anxiety, depression, phobias, confidence and self-esteem, sleep management, stress and careers.
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