5 Steps to Emotional Spring Cleaning

by Cynthia James

It’s the beginning of spring, when many of us become obsessed with cleaning out closets, drawers, books and clutter. I find it interesting that we are not as excited to embark on a road to “emotional cleansing.” Why not take some time this week to inventory old behaviors and patterns that keep us in a constant state of drama — and clean them out along with the dust bunnies?

Emotional cleansing is an art form: It takes practice as well as a deep commitment to shifting your thinking. But you can clear out unproductive thinking, negative self-talk and the clutter of past experiences. Just like cleaning out a closet, this kind of cleaning requires a sorting process (what to keep, what to release, what to give away).

Try these 5 steps to start your emotional cleanse!

1. Sit down and center yourself, with your journal or a piece of paper. In the quietude of the moment, ask yourself, “What emotional responses do not serve me?” Don’t edit the thoughts. Don’t judge the answers. Just witness what comes in. Once you feel clear and calm, write down what came through.

2. Once the list is complete, take some time over the next few days to write how these emotions show up and what triggers them. It is important that you are clear about what buttons get pushed and how.

3. Write a list of the ways you could lead a more empowered life if you could shift these negative patterns.

4. Create a set of goals (no more than three per emotional issue) that you will begin to implement in the next six months. Include only those goals that you will commit to doing. You do not want to set yourself up for failure. Make sure, with these goals, that you create how you are going to release the unwanted behavior.

Example: I will count to 10 before I speak when I am angry; I will call my prayer partner before I act out of an emotional place; I will take time to write down how a negative emotional response will not support me, and I will choose another response.

5. Make a “win” list: Every time you respond more positively, document it. The more wins you experience and celebrate, the more wins there will be in your life!

Take a moment to say or think about this affirmation:

I will totally and fully take charge of my emotional reactions. I will clear out my negative dramatic tendencies and open myself to a life of magnificent joy!