In the spirit of spring cleaning, when is the last time you decluttered your emotional life? Spring cleaning isn’t just for the home. Did you know feelings and thoughts have a way of piling up and need decluttering too? Acknowledging our emotions can be the beginning to setting them free and releasing emotional baggage.
Think of those unhelpful thoughts that have been in the back of your mind lately. Am I holding on to anger, guilt, sadness, or resentment? Those thoughts generate feelings that impact the way we see ourselves and everything around us. Make a list or say them out loud and take some time to really acknowledge those feelings. Now ask yourself this question – are these feelings helping me with my wellbeing and goals? If the answer is no, it is time to tidy up!
Am I still angry that someone cut me off on the road last week? Sweep those thoughts away! Think of all the times you have driven without being cut off on the road. Just because it happened once does not mean it will always happen.
Am I feeling guilty that I was too tired to participate in an activity? Wipe that emotion off! Give yourself permission to rest and recuperate. Celebrate small accomplishments like getting up in the morning and taking a walk.
Am I feeling sad because I can’t socialize like I used to? Spray that emotion off! Find alternatives like connecting with others in an online community or call friends and family to reconnect. Go for a walk around the neighborhood or sit outside for a few minutes to feel the sun on your face or hear the birds in a distance.
Giving ourselves permission to have these natural feelings is important for mental clarity. Managing those unhelpful thoughts and feelings regularly will prevent emotional clutter and help you break bad habits, control negative thoughts, and practice mindfulness.
This spring, water your self-acceptance and self-compassion and watch it grow. Practice being kind to yourself.