Springtime is for fresh starts and inspiration! Why not begin the season by clearing your emotional clutter?
The same way organizing your files and clothes or putting your keys in the same spot daily is important to streamlining your days, it's just as important to spend time taking stock of your emotions and important relationships.
Emotions can get the best of us. They often take priority over other areas of our lives—for better and for worse. Stress, a difficult relationship, financial issues, and dissatisfaction at work are just some of the reasons our brains and emotions go into overdrive. Relationships can stretch and even tear the emotional fabric that weaves through the tapestry of our lives. If you're letting others drain your energy, you'll eventually be completely zapped of energy! Emotional clutter equals brain fog.
Staying centered and grounded, happy and mindful, is totally doable. But to reach emotional peace and tranquillity, it is imperative that you do some emotional cleansing.
So here are five simple ways to start the process of organizing your emotional "clutter."
1. Begin by taking inventory of your life and important relationships.
Give thought to what relationships are really working in your life and those that may not be. Do it the old-fashioned way. Get a few sheets of paper and draw a line down the middle of each. At the top, list the name of a person that you have a close relationship with. On one side, write all the good qualities of that person and why you want them in your life. On the other, write the qualities that are difficult for you to deal with. Then take a long, honest look.
Which column is longer? For example, if anyone on those lists is physically abusive, get them out of your life yesterday. If they are emotionally abusive or over-the-top critical, it is time to have an important conversation with them. Either things improve within a reasonable time period or you may need to distance yourselves or potentially go no-contact.
You will need to state your boundaries calmly and assertively. Think through what you need and what is fair. A professional coach or counselor may be helpful during this time. Learn to pay attention to efforts or improvements over time. If someone is important enough to you, give them a reasonable time period to adjust, but don't keep giving chances. That won't get you anywhere.
Relationships that work have balance and reciprocity. If yours don't, it may be time to end them.
2. Spend more time (no matter how busy you are) on self-care.
Self-care is essential to feeling energetic and peaceful. It can be any activity that makes you feel good—from playing a sport you enjoy to getting a massage or reading a good book. Taking "me" time is essential to help you stay balanced and healthy by reducing emotional clutter. Learn to calm the chatter in your mind.
3. Choose your battles wisely.
Even with the people closest to us, we will get into disagreements or spats that can zap our energy and make us feel angry, disappointed, and unbalanced. Learn to take deep breaths and think through your complaints before voicing them. Pick and choose what needs to really be addressed and let some things roll off your back. Limit the drama.
4. Learn acceptance and surrender.
When we choose a romantic partner or friend, there are often many reasons for moving forward with that relationship. Changing and working to learn better communication skills, calming techniques or even learning to stand up for yourself are all excellent ways to incorporate good self-esteem. It is also equally important to learn that you cannot change anyone else. You can only suggest and encourage. Accept people for who they are. Agree to disagree. Let them be. If it is becomes impossible for you, it may be time to let go.
5. Understand that not all relationships are meant to last a lifetime.
Some people come into our lives for a season. Others are meant to walk the journey with us. Learn to discern the difference and align yourself with the universe. Take the high road, always show self-respect and respect for others, and learn to let go (difficult as that is) of what no longer serves you.
Emotional decluttering does not have to be a daunting task. Sometimes it just means being realistic. We are not all here forever, and time is precious. It does take some self-discipline and effort, but doing this important inventory can simplify your life. It will naturally release good energy and reduce the stress that depletes us.