Ever been to therapy? I have. I spent much of my 20s in therapy and coaching. I even completed a year-long life-coaching training where we locked ourselves in rooms for weekends doing super intense mental work.
I was a full-on expert in all of my CRAP. I could explain all of the things I did that made me miserable, why I did them, and what caused them.
Yet I couldn’t stop doing them! Maybe you can relate to the feeling?
It wasn’t until I discovered emotional spring cleaning that I was able to actually change. I had to clean out the emotional energy suckers that were causing me to stay stuck.In today’s happiness practice I’m going to teach you how to do some emotional spring cleaning for yourself.
Emotional Spring Cleaning
In this happiness practice, we will be systematically cleaning the energy suckers out of your brain. It’s fun, you’ll see!
Energy suckers are all of the stories about your past and stories about people in your life that make up all of your crap – your emotional baggage. We all have them.
Maybe a relationship broke your heart, an accident broke your body, or a job loss broke your spirit. You told yourself stories about these incidents and those stories could be keeping you stuck.
So we’re going to shake things up a bit and clean up those stories. This is going to free you from the tyranny of what has happened to you.
Here’s how to do it.
Step 1: Believe that You Can Shift Your Perspective
Think of a person in your life or an incident that really affected you. Find one that you feel is sucking your emotional energy – where you are wasting valuable mental time thinking about it. Maybe a friend betrayed you, or a family member did not show up when you needed him.
Now to clean this out and stop it from sucking your emotional energy, you are going to have to change the story you tell yourself about it. That is, you will have to learn how to see the situation or the person differently.
Everyone has a unique perspective on a situation or person – what you think about what just happened or what someone did to you.
Your current story comes from what is buried in your subconscious – basically the stuff your parents did, what your teachers said, your friends, your life experiences – all create the way you see a situation aka your “story”
You have a choice in whether to keep this default story or make up a new one. You can always find a different perspective, a different story, a different frame to put around what happened.
You may choose to see the person in your story as a villain and feel anger, or you may choose to see how injured they must have been to do this and see them with compassion. You can choose to see yourself as a victim, scarred for life. Or you may choose to see yourself as the hero who overcame odds to recover from something awful.
Believing that you can even shift your perspective is 99% of the battle. Can you keep a corner of your mind open to the possibility that you COULD see this differently? If the answer is yes, then you can move on to step 2.
Step 2: Find the New Perspective
Ask yourself these two questions:
- How else I can see this situation
- Is there any good that can come from this?
Even if your first idea doesn’t fit, try another and another. Eventually you will notice that your perspective starts to loosen, maybe you let a finger go on your grip of how you are seeing it – that’s all it takes to start to let go of a story that could be keeping you from losing the weight, meeting the right person, or getting that dream job.
The answer or new perspective may not come instantly. It may take weeks or months to find a new story that fits.But simply asking yourself these questions regularly will start to clean out some of the energy suckers that are keeping you stuck and free you to create your own stories that empower you.