We're all familiar with spring cleaning the house - closets to be decluttered, old boxes to be sorted through, blinds to be dusted and unused items to be given away... But how often do we turn our focus to the baggage in our emotional closets? Too many of us suffer from messy habits, crowded feelings and ideas that we've clung to for far too long. Perhaps this spring is the perfect time to practice a bit of emotional minimalism!
Do away with the clutter you've tucked away and allowed to gather dust in your heart and mind. Replace it with something fresh, inspiring and altogether motivational.
Old baby clothes that no longer fit our children pile up in the corner of your closets, because it's tough to let them go. Your ex-boyfriend's t-shirts still claim a space in your drawers, even though you know you'll never again wear them.. Why do we insist on keeping it all?
Items that have emotional memories associated with them become a physical representation of that moment in time. But we do the same thing with grudges! Sometimes they're linked to photos we tuck away and look at secretly, other times it can be simply a feeling. Toss out the items and the feelings! Let go of the desire to seek revenge or hold onto anger - focus on forgiveness and take each moment as it comes, free of any roots from the past or worries about the future.
Use the same strategy when dealing with your negative thinking habits as you would with old bags of clothes on their way to the donation bin - give it away! Don't ask for anything in return, and certainly don't keep it around for another day longer. Pessimists tend to push people away and can turn otherwise healthy relationships into damaging ones. Their thinking patterns and outlook on life spoil happiness and thwart growth. Bundle up all your negative thinking and ship it off... You'll feel all the better for it.
It isn't realistic to completely eliminate fear, and probably not recommended either. After all, some of our instinctual reactions and 'gut feelings' can help get us through sticky or scary situations. But don't let fear control you. Fearing a possible shark attack while swimming in the Great Barrier Reef is a rational fear; fearing the same thing while in a lake in the middle of Colorado is not.
The key here is to buckle down and move forward despite being afraid... It is then that you'll come to realize your fear of the situation was larger than the reality of it! Acknowledge your fear, embrace it, channel it into actionable steps and move through it.
Envy can only live on the assumption that life is a zero-sum-game; one person's good fortune and success means that there's less to be had for the rest of us. Not only is this train of thought selfish, but it is untrue and self-sabotaging. To fight against this behavior, remove yourself from the equation entirely and evaluate how you feel now that it doesn't involve you. Are you happy for your friends success? Step into their shoes and imagine the joy and accomplishment they must be feeling.
All of us have cluttered closets and emotional challenges, but the issues arise when we continue hiding more things under our beds or pile on the grudges till there's no room left to grow. Spring is upon us, so go clean out your closet and unpack your heavy heart as well!