by Lisa J. Hayden, Psy.D.
Spring may mean more than just cleaning out your closet. It is the season of renewal. Challenge yourself to clean your soul for spring.
Start with the Right Attitude
As we see the sun shining longer each day, we can add the same brightness into our own attitude. Dust and rid the cobwebs of old ideas and behaviors and begin to reorganize your inner closet, which can lead to a much happier and healthier you. Reseed your ideas and goals to blossom into new vibrant flowers. Start by developing a lifestyle of “attitude of gratitude” and begin each day with a morning stretch, saying out loud as you wake up, “it’s good to be alive”. Create a list and write down all of the things you have in your life to be grateful for.
Fertilize your mental garden by cultivating a mindful attitude:
– Notice the colors of the blooming flowers
– Breathe in all of the fresh aromas
– Taste the clean air
– Listen as the birds sing
Try not to overwhelm yourself with new habits. Start with a few minutes and build up to a longer duration of time. If your mind starts to wander and attention shifts, forgive yourself, gently redirect your thinking and focus on the serene moment.
Allow the Mind to Reset
– Take a break from computers and cell phones
– Get outside and take a walk
– Allow yourself permission to soak in some sunshine and fresh air
– Bring the beauty of the outdoors into your home with fresh flowers to books your mood
– Place a bowl of fresh fruit in your kitchen
– Mindfully enjoy a fresh and healthy bite
– Savor the flavor as you snack
– Allow yourself to truly taste the peach or nectarine
– Notice the texture, the smell, the nourishment of the fruit
Tackle a Task your Avoiding
– Schedule a time to do the task and honor that time
– Accomplishing small tasks helps build momentum and confidence
– Having unfinished tasks leads to procrastination that may drag you down
Do Something for Others
– Donate unused items to your favorite charity
– Donate your time to helping someone in need
– Helping others provides a boost of oxytocin, a hormone that nurtures
– It makes you feel good, naturally
Make a decision to give up one resentment you have been carrying. We cannot control the behavior of others; the only thing we can control is our reactions. Resentments often come from disappointed expectations or old slights and hurts. These can accumulate and take up an inordinate amount of space in our minds – energy better used for positivity.
As you move into the spring season, remember the past is behind and the future is yet to happen. Embrace each day and smile. A simple smile tells your brain to be happy, you will feel it, and others will love it.