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5 Ways to Spring Clean Your Mindset

Clearing negative thoughts and old habits creates space for creativity, growth, and fresh ideas.

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A conceptual image of a woman watering a plant that is growing from inside her head.
A conceptual image of a woman watering a plant that is growing from inside her head.

Ah, spring. It’s a time of renewal and new growth, a time to refresh and reset… it’s easy to understand why spring has long been billed as the perfect time to throw open the windows, let in the fresh air, and engage in deep cleaning. 

But spring cleaning isn’t just about making your home sparkle. It’s also an ideal time to refresh and rejuvenate your mindset.

Read on to discover the top 5 ways to spring clean your mindset. 

1. Reflect Quietly

Start by setting aside some time just for you. Turn off your phone, close the door, or head outside — where, it doesn’t matter, as long as you’re alone in a quiet space. You may choose to meditate, do yoga, or simply sit quietly with your thoughts.

Once you’re tuned in, ask “what’s holding me back?” Visualize the obstacles that clutter your mind and keep you from achieving your goals. These may be fears, self-doubts, insecurity, or feelings of guilt or regret.

Now think about how you want to feel, what you want to achieve, and how you want your relationships to be. What’s stopping you from reaching for these goals? Identifying the clutter that’s in your path will help you clear it aside.

2. Banish Negative Thoughts and Habits

You’ve identified the ingrained negative thoughts that are holding you back. Now banish them!

Many of these habits start at an early age; maybe you were told you weren’t good enough. Maybe you feel like you don’t deserve good things. Maybe you believe your goal isn’t possible. 

Ask yourself where the negativity comes from… more importantly, ask yourself why you continue to hold onto it.

Once you’ve identified the source, banish self-defeating patterns from your mind by replacing them. When you feel yourself drifting toward negative thoughts, instead gift yourself with a positive affirmation.

Make it a habit to replace negative thoughts with positivity, and you’ll form new patterns in your brain that support abundant thinking.

3. Forgive Others and Yourself

Exploring the sources of negative thoughts and self-doubt may dredge up painful experiences from the past. If you’re still feeling resentment for something someone did or said to you, now is the time to forgive.

This includes forgiving yourself for past mistakes or failures. Focusing on your own faults simply leads to self-doubt, critical thoughts, and more mental clutter. 

Holding onto anger and hurt takes up valuable space and eats up your energy. Letting go of grudges frees your mind, so you can move on and grow.  

4. Take Inventory

Now that you’ve identified those piles of mental clutter, grab a journal and take inventory. Putting pen to paper articulates and solidifies your thoughts. Often, seeing formerly nebulous concepts written down in black and white places them into a realistic perspective. Plus, once thoughts are on paper, you can stop allowing them to take up valuable mind space.

Start by writing out your to-do list: Think about the things you want to do, the things you need to do, the things you should be doing but aren’t.

Now identify why each item is on your list. Is it truly important? Will it benefit you or someone you love? If not, cross it off your list. It’s simply a distraction from what’s really important. 

The to-do items that are left are the things that matter. Your inventory should be a living document, so set aside a few minutes each day for review and updating. 

5. Remove Distractions

From the moment we wake until we turn off our phones and go to sleep, we’re bombarded by distractions. Whether it’s the social media feed that never stops updating or the constant barrage of news, information never stops coming. 

But our brains can only process so much. And the more data you pour in, the fewer resources you have left to focus on what’s really important.

Reduce the chaos by:

  • Turning off notifications on your phone
  • Unsubscribing/unfollowing non-essential feeds
  • Placing time limits on apps
  • Clearing clutter from in-boxes
  • Considering a digital detox; spend a few days totally unplugged 

Make Space for Creativity and Growth

Congratulations! You’ve given your mindset a good spring cleaning. Now take time to admire your refreshed internal landscape.

Just as you would care for your home — keeping it clean, tidy, and well-organized — do the same for your mind. Revisiting your to-do list and your mental inventory regularly will help keep your mindset fresh and uncluttered.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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