Spring clean your mindPosted on: 14 May 2015 by Lynda Shaw
Dr Lynda Shaw cautions that stress is a fact of life, but these top tips for dealing with the 'thought clutter' that comes with it could be your saving grace!
By now, your winter woollies are probably tucked away in the loft and you’ve given your home the once over sweeping down the cobwebs and sprucing up your garden ready for summer. But some of us are still feeling emotionally sluggish and bogged down by what I like to call ‘thought clutter’ and you may need to spring clean your mind.
Paying attention to thoughts that are stockpiled in our mind may not be something that we consciously think about doing, particularly when many of us lead such busy lives. But if we don’t spend time to declutter our thoughts once in a while, the long term effects can cause serious implications to our health.
According to the National Science Foundation, our brains produce as many as 50,000 thoughts a day and approximately 70% to 80% of those are negative. With these alarming statistics, it’s astounding how we manage to function and get through our daily existence, but somehow we do.
The theory of spring-cleaning our mind focuses on bringing clarity and eliminating issues and areas that heighten stress and anxiety in our lives and for us to be more mindful of all the positives that are present. If we can adapt this practise into our thought pattern, we would open up a renewed way of thinking and by and large, have a more positive outlook as well as guarding our health.
Research from the Mental Health Foundation have shown that around 12 million adults in the UK see their GP with mental health problems each year. We all know what it’s like to feel tension and the distressing sensation it causes sending our emotions in a spin, so it’s crucial that we take this problem into our own hands and reduce our stress levels and find things that can help us unwind and feel more relaxed.
Stress is a fact of life. We can’t run away from it as it’s built into our existence and a little bit of stress is in fact good for us but arming yourself with knowledge, resources and tools to implement change when things are beginning to get out of hand could be your saving grace.
How to purge 'thought clutter'
Declutter your mind by acknowledging your troubles, accepting them for what they are, and handle the situation as best you can and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. If you can, include some quiet time for contemplation and rest in your day even if it is just 10 minutes.
Tackle negative thoughts head on because they stop you progressing and are more often than not destructive and restricting. Stop and think before you complain about your life and remember how lucky you are compared to others around you.
Putting pen to paper
Writing can be incredibly therapeutic, offering opportunities to express your thoughts. Writing lists means you can download the multiple things you need to remember to juggle each day which helps keep you organised and gives you space for clarity. Alternatively start writing a diary or sign up to a creative writing course if you want to take things a stage further.
If you have someone in your life that drains you and the relationship is now toxic, try and take time away from them and instead re-establish old friendships and build new ones.
We are creatures of habit and enjoy having structure in our lives. However, breaking the routine and not leading a life where everything is outlined and rigid can be a refreshing change that’s both exhilarating and provides a renewed feeling of self-confidence and a sense of adventure. Do something different today.
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