Spring cleaning is an old tradition where people take time during the season of renewal to thoroughly clean their homes, clear away clutter, and start the spring and summer fresh and ready to face the season of growth. Like the clutter, dust, and grime in our homes, our minds also become burdened by unresolved feelings and thoughts. When this happens, we can benefit from making time to do some emotional spring cleaning where we explore our emotions, take steps to resolve issues, and give ourselves permission to move forward. In this blog, we’ll explore some of the many benefits of making time to spring clean your emotions.

Spring Cleaning Your Emotions

Who Should Consider Spring Cleaning Their Emotions?

Freeing ourselves from lingering or unresolved emotions can be a rewarding experience. If you’re not sure that emotional spring cleaning will benefit you, take a few moments to answer the following questions:

  • Have you ever been accused of holding a grudge?
  • Do you tend to bring up the past (good or bad) a little too often?
  • Are you struggling to move on from a difficult experience or relationship?
  • Do you worry about things that happened weeks, months, or even years ago?
  • Do you replay events in your mind looking for places where you could have “done better?”

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, it might be time for some emotional spring cleaning.

What Are the Benefits of Spring Cleaning Emotions?

There are many benefits to making time to spring clean unresolved emotional tension. Some of the most important include:

  • Increased emotional intelligence (EQ) – many of us struggle to identify and manage our emotions. This isn’t something we’re taught to do. Emotional spring cleaning can help you engage with emotions and increase your EQ.
  • Get to the root of ongoing issues – do you find yourself having the same fight with your spouse about who folds laundry the wrong way over and over again? It’s probably not really about the laundry. Emotional spring cleaning can help you explore the deeper emotional challenges at play in these recurring spats.
  • Lighten the mood – you’ve heard the adage, “Let’s lighten the mood.” When we work through and let go of heavy, unresolved emotions, we may feel lighter and happier by literally lightening our mood.
  • Improve relationships – when we hold onto emotions or don’t resolve conflicts, our relationships may suffer. By choosing to clear away some of this emotional clutter, we make room for new feelings to grow and for old feelings of connection and compassion to be renewed.
Increasing your Emotional Intelligence

How Can You Start Emotional Spring Cleaning?

One easy way of performing emotional spring cleaning is to create a list of the people you are closest to, starting with your immediate family and best friends. Set aside some time to go through the list. Think about your last five interactions with each person on the list and answer these questions:

  • Did you leave anything unsaid?
  • Did you do anything that might have been hurtful?
  • Did they do something that is bothering you?
  • Did they do anything to make you happy?
  • Are you worried about them?
  • Are you proud of their accomplishments?

Next, carefully consider and identify emotions that arise when you think of these past interactions and answer the following questions:

  • What emotions arise surrounding this person?
  • Are there emotions warning you of damage in the relationship that needs to healed?
  • Are any emotions warning of a potential danger to your mental health or physical safety if you continue the relationship?
  • Do these emotions need to be addressed for your relationship to continue?
  • Is addressing these emotions and mending the relationship beneficial?
setting healthy boundaries

If you don’t feel the emotions are truly telling you something important that you need to resolve, make the decision to let them go. It can be helpful to imagine yourself telling the other person something like, “I’m letting go of this anger, annoyance, resentment, etc. that is impacting our relationship because I value having you in my life.” You can also take time to tell these people the things you appreciate it. Like letting go of difficult or painful emotions, you can do this through imagining an interaction, but it never hurts to share gratitude in person.

Still Struggling to Let Go? Talk to a Therapist

At LMV Counseling, we know that letting go of difficult emotions and working through that unfinished business can be difficult. If you need help doing some emotional spring cleaning, we would be happy to support you through this journey. To get started, you can use our simple online scheduling request form. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

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