Helpful tools for spring cleaning of your mental health

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Deb Davis Hall

This time of the year, we often think about spring cleaning. Generally, this means physically cleaning our homes.

Sometimes, though, it might feel as though we need to "spring clean" our mental health with a shift in thinking and behavior. Spring is the time to consider the renewal and growth of personal wellness and mental peace, along with happiness.

Cleaning out the mental clutter of your mind will provide an opportunity to grow emotionally and personally. Decluttering negative thoughts, eliminating toxic drama-filled relationships, and replacing bad habits with positive behaviors will clean out the cobwebs of your mind and create hopeful energy.

Rejuvenate your physical health, be grateful for and revitalize positive relationships, and develop mindfulness that encourages happiness; taking these steps can enhance your mental health.

If you choose to not focus on decluttering negative thoughts, it can have serious ramifications. It can keep you from becoming your best self. Often negative thoughts and self-doubts can rob you of your dreams.

Developing positive self-talk is necessary to break the cycle of those negative thoughts; this can also include the habit of continually complaining about life in general. For those who carry grudges, consider how much more devastating it is for the person carrrying the grudge than for the person with whom he or she is angry.

Ultimately, negative thoughts can impact our mental and physical health and build unnecessary stress in our lives.

Eliminating toxic drama-filled relationships can help you to focus on improving your mental health. If relationships are continually bringing you down by putting you or your values under the microscope, then it might be time to walk away from the relationship or friendship.

This evaluation can be a challenging thing, as you might have a history and you might even enjoy the drama. It often takes courage to break off a relationship that no longer provides satisfaction, in order to continue to nurture your mental health.

What can we do to spring clean our mental health? We can revitalize our physical health, revitalize positive relationships, and utilize mindfulness to develop positive self- talk along with positive thoughts.

Polishing your gratitude and being grateful can carry with it the ability to change situations that improve your life. Being thankful for the small things can improve your mental outlook.

Forgive others of their faults and be sensitive to the needs of others.

As you utilize mindfulness, take stock in what your needs are and accept yourself without judgment. Focus on your strengths and work on your weaknesses.

Dr. Phil McGraw has a podcast called "Phil in the blank," and he asks the question "I would rather be (blank) than right." He says most of us would say we would rather be right than wrong, but he suggests that the blank needs be completed with "happy": "I would rather be happy than right."

We need to understand what makes us happy to improve our positive thoughts and self-talk, thus improving our general mental health.

Dr. Deb Davis Hall, Ed.D, LPC/I, is a counselor with Hope Performance Systems on Hilton Head Island. dhall@hopeperformance systems.com; hopeperformancesystems.com

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