Spring is here and household cleaning checklists are in bloom!
But what about a "spring clean" for our mind? Declutter the thoughts that do nothing but burden us, reorganize and bring forth the positive, dust off forgotten great ideas and overall get our mental wellbeing in order?
Here are 3 techniques to clear your thoughts and clean your mind, so that it shines bright and makes you feel at your best!
1. Mindfulness: Deliberate Focus on the Here and Now
We tend to think about what happened in the past and what will happen in the future. Our mind is easily distracted by multiple stimuli and tasks, grabbing our attention most of the time.
Mindfulness is the ability to stay in the moment, with intention and without judgement.
Research shows practicing mindfulness helps relieve stress and improve our ability to deal with pain and anxiety. It increases our emotional stability and our ability to face challenging situations.
Bringing our attention to the here and now can be cultivated through meditation, training and practice exercises. Keeping a gratitude journal is a great way to stay in this one moment and give it our entire attention. There are also mindfulness apps that help you learn and practice the principles of mindfulness.
2. Intuitive, Free Form Writing
A great technique for getting our minds organized is trying not to organize it. By letting go of our conscious, often formatted way of thinking about things and situations, we can let our unconscious do some cleaning work. The idea is to spend a few minutes every day (mornings are best) writing intuitively. Writing down whatever comes to mind and hand, without dwelling on style and form. Loose, stream of consciousness writing is meant for you and you only. Once you start practicing intuitive writing, you'll notice the things that bother you and burden you find their way out into the world and onto paper, rather than cluttering up your mind. Think of it as airing out what was kept at the back of the closet for a long time or getting rid of excess baggage that drags you down.
3. Movement and Fresh Air
We all know the beneficial effects of exercise on our body: strengthening muscles, metabolism, cardiovascular function and respiration. But an active lifestyle also has a beneficial effect on our mental wellbeing, improving the mood and releasing mental stress. To get your mind refreshed, try getting outside and engaging in moderate and gradually adjusted physical activity. Even if you take a very short walk outside, breathing the fresh air and being active will make you feel more refreshed and clear up your mind.
Want to start cleaning your mind? Try this mindfulness practice free download to focus on 5 moments today. Think about how you felt and what you noticed, body and mind, in this very moment.
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