This post originally appeared on The Zoe Report.
We love no time of year more than spring, when winter has turned over a new leaf (literally) and the air is rife with anticipation of fun summer days to come. And while January 1 is the day we resolve to make major changes, this turn of season is a great time for a life refresh, clearing out the cobwebs to welcome the light. You may already have KonMari down to a science, but do you know what to do with the cluttered parts of your mind?
Here, six ways to achieve a little spring-cleaning of the soul.
Dust off old resentments
We’ve been saying this for years (mostly to our ex-boyfriends) and now there’s science to back it up—holding grudges is bad for your health! It increases cortisol (the stress hormone) and diminishes oxytocin (the love hormone). Start your spring-cleaning by bringing old resentments to the surface and releasing them, one by one—whatever this means for you. We’ve found the best way to clear this negative energy is to write a letter releasing the other person from all blame, apologizing for your part in the conflict and wishing him or her well. It may require you to swallow your pride, but you’ll feel a thousand pounds lighter afterward.
Let go of the past
Wherever you are in your life, it’s likely not all that bad (e.g., you’re currently reading The Zoe Report rather than, you know, fleeing a war-torn area). With that in mind, think about whatever’s plaguing you and ask yourself: Is this a concern in the present moment, or is this about something that happened in the past? If it’s old news, treat it as such, because nothing in the past can hurt you unless you allow it to. If it helps, try a ritual or ceremony to aid in letting go—we like this one.
Clear up current conflict
You may find this one challenging, as you likely haven’t arrived at the forgive-and-forget stage quite yet. For this reason, resolution probably requires face-to-face interaction; however, as a hypnotherapist once phrased it to us (don’t ask), you can either live with the unease of conflict hanging over your head indefinitely, or you can confront and dissolve it after just a short bout of unpleasantness. Choose the latter, and feel immediately lighter.
To read the rest, head to The Zoe Report.