When we think of spring cleaning, we mean getting rid of the junk that has accumulated in our closets, homes, or garages.
But what about our “emotional” spaces?
We don’t think about the psychological clutter that we have accumulated over the years. Yet, emotional clutter can accrue just like bric-a-brac, clothes, shoes, furniture, and cooking utensils—all that stuff that clutters your physical space. Similarly, emotional clutter most often comes from stress that clogs our psyche.
Stress isn’t just a reaction to “big ticket” items, like a serious health problem, dealing with a death, or being a victim of a natural disaster. Actually, most of us experience stress from low level, everyday events—the “little foxes” that can destroy the vineyard.
Stress impacts everyone. You can’t live in the modern world without experiencing stress. In other words, stress for most of us is a daily, perhaps hourly event, triggered by everyday pressures.
Psychological spring cleaning means cleaning out the emotional closets of the stress mess.
Stress creates a mess by clogging up your psyche with anxiety, worry, depression, irritability, and anger—to name a few of stress mess emotions. The emotional closet is stuffed to the gills with negative thinking, pessimism, and cynicism caused by these stress aftereffects.
The stress mess is powerful. Stress affects the brain and body, and can zap your spirit.
Here are some tips for cleaning out your emotional closet. Visualize a large garbage bag. You’re going to fill the bag with outdated, useless emotions.
Cleaning up the stress mess is vital. Long-term, ongoing stress is bad for your physical and emotional health. Much of our emotional stress comes from our reaction to people and events and not the stimulus itself. What this really means is that you CAN control how much stress mess you make. It’s up to you. You can continue to wear your old, unattractive, and somewhat smelly behaviors and thoughts, or you can throw out the habitual reactions or twisted thinking that has overtaken your closet with negative emotions and stress. Think about it—fresh vs. smelly, attractive vs. ugly, new vs. old and worn. It’s your choice to make. Happy spring cleaning.
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) website at: