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A Spring Clean For Your Mind

Daffodils are beginning to flower and all around are signs that we are coming out of winter. Supermarkets are advertising discounts on their cleaning products and newspapers are full of articles about spring cleaning.

You have been watching Mrs Hinch clean her house on Instagram and tried to follow Marie Kendo’s example of going through your wardrobe and only keeping clothes that give you joy. So now you have a clean house and an uncluttered wardrobe but do you still feel that something is missing? Spring cleans are not just for the house. Here are five tips on how to spring clean your mind for a refreshed you.

  1. A Digital Detox. We all spend way too much time looking at our phones, checking Facebook and Instagram seeing how many likes our posts have got. Research shows that blue light from your phone disrupts the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates the body’s sleep cycle. So why not make a commitment to turn your phone off an hour before bedtime to allow your brain to begin to unwind before you go to bed.
  1. Think about your Breathing. Breathing is something that we take for granted; let’s face it we don’t even have to think about it, it just happens. However, did you know that proper controlled breathing exercises can help you relax? Deep breathing does this by making your body feel like it does when you are already relaxed. Deep breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress in the body. This is because when you breathe deeply, it sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax. Tai Chi is a great exercise that will help you think about your breathing in a completely new way.
  1. Write it Down. Writing down how you feel is a great spring clean technique. Getting your irritations, excitements and emotions down on paper, allows you to make more sense of the positives and negatives in your life. If something is an irritation to you, why not let it go and concentrate on the things that make you happy. 
  1. Try something new. Why not try a new sporting activity? It’s an opportunity to have fun, meet new people and improve your overall fitness levels. Exercise increases your overall health and your sense of well-being but it also has some direct stress-busting benefits. Physical activity helps bump up the production of your brain's feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers. They can also improve your ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress. Research suggests that doing only about five minutes of aerobic exercise can begin to stimulate anti-anxiety effects. Remember the most effective exercise is the one that you will stick with, so why not try several and see which one works for you best.
  1. Listen to your favorite music. Whatever your choice in music, from Thrash Metal to Disco to Classical, research has shown that music can be therapeutic and can give you an instant boost of energy or help you wind down after a stressful day. So put on your favourite song, sing along at the top of your voice, add a few dance moves in and see how it makes you feel.