Spring is often the time of year when you engage in some spring cleaning; getting rid of what's been stored over the winter that you doubt you will ever use again, cleaning the yard and around your home ridding yourself of the debris that has built up over the winter, and creating more order in your cupboards and closets.
What about your mental debris? You know, those limiting beliefs, those skewed expectations, that internal dialogue -- that story -- that is just not serving you any longer. What do you do with that? Most of us simply let it sit; like the filters in our furnace, these mental filters stay filled with dusty debris -- much of which we no longer have use. Yet those beliefs, expectations, and thoughts influence every aspect of your life. They influence not just how you interpret what you experience, but they influence what you notice (and what you don't).
In the spirit of spring and of cleaning, here are six reasons for more mental hygiene (the acronym is HEALTH):
Holism: Every part of you is connected to every other part of you. Your body, your cells are listening to your thoughts. Think about the message you'd like the rest of you to receive. Send that one.
Energy: Constructive, positive thoughts create energy. If you want more energy (and I cannot say I have met anyone who said they didn't), you need to ensure you nourish your brain and your bloodstream with chemicals like dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin...natural, effective, healthy 'dope' for your brain!
Assurance: The only way to be sure (as sure as you possibly can) you will be mentally healthy/psychologically well is to take preventative, deliberate steps to be mindful of your mind (thoughts). When I first engaged with mindful meditation, I was surprised at some of the thoughts I had that were holding me back from fully experiencing my life.
Life: Your very life depends on your psychological health. Without a healthy brain -- one that serves you -- your very life is at stake. (Not to be overly dramatic -- but, really, think about it!!)
Trust: Cleaning out the debris in your brain -- the negative thoughts, the limiting beliefs, the unrealistic expectations, the life-sucking story -- will inspire trust in yourself and others' trust in you. You'll be the kind of person other people want to be around. And that increase in social connection with nourish your brain, which relies on it!
Check out this super-cool video by Matthew Lieberman on the social brain.
Harmony: In a world filled with epic disasters (planes disappearing, ferries sinking, extreme weather destroying homes and lives) and stories of people losing control of their psychological well-being (murder, suicides, workplace shootings, violent rampages) Mental Spring Cleaning will help you to add some peace, some harmony to the world. That's something that will surely benefit us all.
What's your favourite mental hygiene habit?
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